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‘A dilapidated wall or a platform cannot be considered a mosque,’ Supreme Court rejects Rajasthan Waqf Board’s appeal against a mining contract

There is no evidence at any given point in time that the structure was being used as a mosque, the court observed.

The Rajasthan State Waqf Board’s appeal against a Rajasthan High Court judgment from September 2021 has been rejected by the Supreme Court of India. An appeal against a High Court ruling allowing Jindal Saw Limited to demolish a structure from a property given to it for mining, which the Board said was a holy site including a mosque, was dismissed by a bench of Justices Hemant Gupta and V Ramasubramanian.

“A crumbling wall or a platform cannot be given the status of a holy venue for the purpose of conducting prayers or Namaaz”, the bench observed, since there is no record of commitment or usage.

“There is no evidence at any given point of time that the structure was being used as a mosque. In the absence of any proof of dedication or use, a dilapidated wall or a platform cannot be conferred the status of a religious place for the purpose of offering prayers/Namaaz”, the Supreme Court said in its judgement.

SC noted that there were no revenue records to substantiate that the edifice was a mosque. It further stated that the structure is decrepit, without a roof, and is overgrown with plants and that there was no evidence that it was being used to offer Namaz.

The Survey Commissioner, Waqf of Rajasthan, undertook a survey in 1963 and declared the structure as ‘Qalandari Masjid of Tiranga’ and made it a property of waqf. The Anjuman Committee then wrote to the Chairman of the appellant-Board in 2012, stating that there is a wall and Chabutrah (platform) on the so-called Qalandari Masjid on Tiranga Hill in Village Pur, but no one has been seen giving namaz there for many years.

Following that, the Board alerted the local authorities, as well as the Superintendent of Police, that the Anjuman Committee was acting for their personal gains. As a result, an FIR was registered and money was recovered from the Committee.

Following that, Jindal Saw Limited petitioned the High Court, which established the Expert Committee to assess whether the structure on the mining site was a mosque or not. The High Court eventually authorized Jindal Saw Ltd. to continue mining under the terms of the lease granted to it in December 2010.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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