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HC seeks Delhi's reply on vacating Waqf properties

HC seeks Delhi’s reply on vacating Waqf properties

The Delhi High Court today sought the AAP government’s response on a PIL seeking direction to enforce eviction orders, already passed and awaiting enforcement for last several years, regarding 990 Waqf properties in the national capital.

A bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath also issued notice to Revenue Secretary of Delhi government and Delhi Waqf Board (DWB) directing them to file their responses within four weeks as to why they are not able to get these Waqf properties vacated.

The bench also asked the counsel for Revenue Authority, under whom all sub-divisional magistrates (SDMs) of Delhi come, why Waqf laws have been framed and created and what is its utility when there was no intentions to enforce such laws.

It also questioned as to why Waqf tribunals were not constituted.

Counsel for Waqf Board, meanwhile, sought dismissal of the PIL stating that Waqf Board will get its properties vacated and that no court order is required for getting those properties vacated and that they are in the process of creating Waqf Tribunal.

The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on September 1.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by advocate Shahid Ali, in respect of 990 Waqf properties which have already been ordered to be vacated from illegal and unauthorised occupation of encroachers under section 54 of Wakf Act 1995 (Old Act) across the Delhi but the concerned SDMs have not been enforcing such orders of vacation of Waqf properties despite there is a clear commandment of Section 55 of the Wakf Act 1995.

He added that between 2006 and 2013, on different dates, the SDMs have been requested to get the properties vacated, through police circle officers (COs).

Previously these officers had the power to get properties vacated, but through an amendment in 2013 in the Waqf Act, this right has been transferred to the Waqf Tribunal, he said.

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