Remove both dargahs on road within 48 hrs: HC

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 05 Oct 2018 10:07:15


Staff Reporter,


High Court stays controversial order of Waqf Tribunal

Refusing to grant any more time to the managing committees of two dargahs- Azam Shah Dargah situated right in the middle of Central Avenue and Baba Haider Ali Shah Dargah situated near Lakadganj Police Station, Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court directed them to remove “holy remains” within 48 hours and dismantle the structures on their own. Else, the Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) has been directed to demolish the structures clearly posing obstruction to traffic, and tar both the road stretches within a week.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice M G Giratkar, while hearing petition filed by members of Baba Haider Ali Shah Dargah Committee and Azam Shah Panch Committee, also asked NMC to extend all co-operation in removal of the holy remains of the shrines. The High Court also stayed the controversial ex-parte stay order passed by Waqf Board Tribunal in favour of Baba Haider Ali Shah Dargah in clear defiance of Supreme Court orders and two recent orders of High Court dated September 19 and September 28.

Members of both shrines claimed that they were constructed well before May 1, 1960 and hence require permission of state-level committee for removal or relocation. Azam Shah Panch Committee located right at busy Chandrashekhar Azad Chowk on Central Avenue contended that it was 250 years old and situated on a private property. Lakadganj Dargah members also claimed that structure was 150 years old, without producing any credible documents on record. Besides, they claimed that most of the structure was situated on a private land and barely 4 ft part was on the road. To ascertain the factual position, the High Court ordered a joint inspection in the morning itself and found on substance in the contentions.

The NMC pointed out that entire Central Avenue land was acquired way back in 1960 and compensation was also paid, however the dargah was not removed and last attempt during IRDP could not succeed as members refused to relocate the shrine. The High Court reiterated that no protection could be granted to any shrine on public road and footpath, howsoever old or new and directed NMC to go ahead with its demolition after accepting prayer of the petitioner to relocate the holy remains to Mominpura Kabrastan.

The High Court asked NMC to help Azam Shah Dargah Panch Committee in this venture, but made it clear that cost of transportation would be borne by respective committees.

Due to double-speak and deceptive trick adopted by secretary of Baba Haider Ali Shah Dargah by approaching Waqf Tribunal while simultaneously approaching High Court and promising NMC to remove the shrine within 48 hours, the counsel chose to withdraw his power. This mischief had stunned everyone on Wednesday and this attempt to take judicial system for a ride was not appreciated by legal circles here.

Adv Shreerang Bhandarkar appeared for the petitioner while Adv Sudhir Puranik (NMC), GP Sumant Deopujari (State) represented State.