Delhi HC rejects Waqf Board’s appeal to stay property transfer to ITBP

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The Delhi High Court on Wednesday turned down an appeal by the Delhi Waqf Board against an earlier court order which refused a stay on the transfer of ‘Qabristan Qadeem’ purportedly belonging to it and allotted to the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla said: “We find no force in this submission since it is not uncommon for graves to be shifted wherever they cause an obstruction to the development of land.”

Earlier on March 9, a bench of Justice Yashwant Varma had refused to grant a stay on the plea filed by the Board against the Centre’s de-notification of 123 properties, purportedly owned by it, under Section 93 of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013.

Waqf Board’s counsel Wajeeh Shafiq had argued for an interim stay on the property allotted to the ITBP. But the court said: “I’m presently not inclined to grant a stay. This is not a place to stay. It is not like the property has gone to private people. We can ask the Union of India to hand it back.”

In its plea, the Waqf Board alleged that the government rejected the report submitted by a one-man Committee, without even sharing it, and arbitrarily appointed a two-member committee to re-examine the status of the properties. It claimed that the properties never left their Waqf character and are governed by the provisions of the Waqf Act, 1995, which prohibit alienation of Waqf properties.

The Centre’s counsel Kirtiman Singh opposed the Waqf Board’s claims, saying no construction has been done on the site and that the Board can approach the Court in the future in case of any grievance.

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