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Gujarat: Waqf board gets stay on demolition of illegal madarsa after Surat Municipal Corporation fails to update records on time

Earlier in November 2021, the Surat Municipal Corporation headquarters at Muglisara had been declared waqf property.

Surat Municipal Corporation may lose second property to Waqf Board in just three months because of what appears to be a case of sheer negligence to update the records. Waqf Board has got stay on the demolition of illegal madarsa build on Surat Municipal Corporation land because the district administration reportedly did not update records on time.

As per local media reports, in ward no 3, city survey no 4936 and 4939 a madarsa in the name of Anwar-e-Rabbani Talim-ul-Islam is operational. Since long it has been disputed that it is built illegally on the land owned by Surat Municipal Corporation. Hence earlier, to demolish the same, the district administration had asked for police bandobast as well. However, owing to the dispute between the Waqf and trustees on the madarsa registered with the Waqf board, the police force was not arranged for.

Sources close to the development say that the representatives of the Surat Mahanagarpalika have not even bothered to appear before the court during the hearings.

As per the information obtained by zone officer, in the city survey records from 1969, this land was private property while as per the Palika town planning, this land belonged to the government. Hence, the central zone had said that back then, the private property was taken over by the corporation from town planning office but the same records were not updated in the Municipal Corporation books.

For the matter, the administration has now sought an answer from the waqf board and have given them time till 16-17 February to respond. The department has said that the first floor of the madarsa is illegal and local activists have demanded that the same be demolished.

The notice for demolition was issued on 29th December 2021. However, now that Gujarat State Waqf Board has moved tribunal court, the status quo on it would be maintained till Surat Palika gives appropriate response on the same. Madarsa is there on the land since past 60 years. Palika wants to demolish the madarsa constructed illegally and make a parking spot over it.

This is second property owned by Surat Municipal Corporation which it may lose to waqf board in just three months, mostly due to lack of updated records.

Earlier in November 2021, the Surat Municipal Corporation headquarters at Muglisara had been declared waqf property. The board had claimed that during Mughal rule of Shah Jahan, his daughter Jahanara Begum owned Surat and her confidante Ishaqbail Yazdi alias Haqiqat Khan constructed the building back in 1644 and named it Humayun Sarai. It was reportedly donated for Haj pilgrims to rest.

Waqf Board had claimed that since the property was donated by a Muslim ruler as a waqf property, the purpose does not change and hence the corporation building will be part of the waqf board. Board had cited Sharia and Supreme Court judgement to claim that ‘once a waqf property, always a waqf property’.

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Nirwa Mehta
Nirwa Mehtahttps://medium.com/@nirwamehta
Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

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