Lucknow: In a significant development on the eve of foundation laying ceremony of Dhannipur mosque in Ayodhya, the Allahabad High Court has set aside order of the Yogi Adityanath government to extend the tenure of the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, the owner of the allotted land.
A two-member bench of the Allahabad High Court comprising Justice Govind Mathur and Justice S.S Shamsheri ordered to dissolve the Sunni Board and ordered fresh elections before February 28.
The Yogi Adityanath government had extended the tenure of the Sunni Board, which had expired on April 1, 2020 due to COVID pandemic on September 30 last year.
The High Court bench has also appointed the Principal Secretary Minority as the Administrator of the Sunni Board. The bench, however, did not cancel decisions taken by the Sunni Board during the extension period.
In its historic order on Ram Janambhoomi- Babri mosque title suit, the Supreme Court had allotted the 5 acres of land to the Sunni Board for construction of the mosque.
The Board had entrusted the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF) task of constructing the mosque on the land allotted by the Yogi Adityanath government in village Dhannnipur and Raunahi.
Jafryab Jilani, the Exceutive Membber of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board, the highest decision-making body of Muslims in India, alleged that Sunni Board tenure was extended by the state government to begin the construction of the mosque hurriedly.
“The mosque is being built against Shariat and Waqf Act under pressure from the BJP government,” he told the FPJ.
Interestingly, the IICF has neither extended invitation to AIMPLB office-bearers nor to litigants, including Iqbal Ansari, son of oldest litigant late Hashim Ansari. “We would have stayed away from the program, even if invited,” reacted Jilani.