A Masjid on HC premises sends out wrong signals: Allahabad HC
The Allahabad High Court in a landmark judgment directed the Wakf Authorities to vacate and hand over the Masjid to the High Court registrar since it was found to have been constructed in the landed property of the High Court by mere encroachment.
Such encroachments cannot be tolerated. The Masjid was named as Masjid High Court, said the court in a detailed order.
A lawyer of the court, Abhilash Shukla, moved a public interest litigation to get the structure removed. The High Court perusing the records came to the conclusion that it was built on the court premises by encroachment and that without permission from the local authorities. The area is about 7000 square metres.
When named as Masjid High Court by the UP Sunni Wakf, it will send a wrong message as if the court had established it. Such acts are bad as the constitution is secular and the court cannot identify with any religious group., the order said.
The structure, as it stands on the court premises, will give a feeling that it was the court which built it, the court said. By the constitution, the High court is a secular institution. It has no preference in favour of any religion nor does it discriminate any.
Most of the members of the masjid are lawyers practicing in the Allahabad court. The court directed the members to respect the order and vacate the premises peacefully.
In case the Wakf authorities fail to respect the order is, the registrar can forcefully evict it with police help, the order said.