Bom HC Gives Direction For Decision to be Taken on Alleged Unauthorised Construction of Mosque
The Aurangabad Bench of Bombay High Court has directed a District Committee to decide the fate of a mosque in Jalna, that is allegedly being built without proper authorisation, within two weeks, reported LiveLaw.
A public interest litigation was filed by an organisation called Arya Samaj Jalna in 2018. The said petition was heard by a division bench comprising Chief Justice Dipankar Datta and Justice Ravindra V. Ghuge.
The petitioner had claimed that a mosque was being constructed without permission by the authorities at the instance of the District Wakf Officer, Wakf Board Office Jalna. Advocate Aashish T Jadhavar, appearing for the petitioner submitted that the construction which stands on the road contravened a 2009 Supreme Court order in Union of India vs. State of Gujarat. Advocate Jadhavar submitted that "the administration, both civil and municipal, have been lax in taking action to remove the same (unauthorised mosque)."
In the 2009 order, the Supreme Court had held that "no unauthorized construction shall be carried out or permitted in the name of Temple, Church, Mosque or Gurudwara etc. on public streets, public parks or other public places etc."
Accordingly, the State Government had issued a resolution in 2011, constituting a District Committee chaired by the District Collector, for reviewing any unauthorised construction of religious nature which had already taken place. This committee has the Superintendent of Police, the Chief Executive Officer of the Zilla Parishad, the Commissioner of the Municipal Corporation, the Chief Officer of the Municipal Council and the Resident Deputy Collector as the Member Secretary among others as its members.
As reported by LiveLaw, the Bench has directed the District Committee to place their decision before the court on July 26, 2022, and warned the District Wakf Officer to appear for the next hearing otherwise the court will proceed against all the non-appearing respondents ex parte.
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