Tablighi Jamaat case: Delhi High Court directs police to handover Nizamuddin Markaz keys to Maulana Saad

Nizamuddin Markaz is closed since March 2020. The High court rejected the stand of the Delhi Police on restrictions imposed for the closing of Markaz.

IANSUpdated: Monday, November 28, 2022, 08:53 PM IST
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A file photo of Tablighi Jamaat members at Nizamuddin | PTI

The Delhi High Court on Monday directed Delhi Police to hand over the keys of Markaz Nizamuddin to Maulana Saad who is the head of Tablighi Jamaat.

Nizamuddin Markaz is closed since March 2020. The High court rejected the stand of the Delhi Police on restrictions imposed for the closing of Markaz.

The Delhi Police before the High Court said that they are ready to hand over the keys of Markaz to Maulana Saad as they took it from him only.

After noting the submission, the High Court disposed of the plea seeking the unlocking of Nizamuddin Markaz. It was closed by the Delhi police during the COVID pandemic.

Justice Jasmeet Singh directed Delhi Police and disposed of the petition after noting the submission of counsel for Delhi Police that they have no objection in handing over the keys to Maulana Saad on undertaking or indemnity bond if he approaches them. "He is the person from whom we took the keys," Delhi Police told the court.

The court said that no documents were required to be submitted by him for this purpose.

"If you take a property under Epidemic Diseases Act and register an FIR, then the person who was in possession at that point of time, would have to file suit for possession?" the bench asked.

Pandemic has been over, hand over the possession, the bench said.

Delhi police submitted that the "possession was taken" from Maulana Saad, but he is absconding.

The counsel representing the Markaz management committee said he is in Nizamuddin only and not absconding and will appear before the police.

Senior advocate Sanjoy Ghosh and Standing Counsel for Delhi Waqf Board submitted that all the religious places have been opened by the government. Therefore there is no logic in keeping the Markaz closed for an indefinite time.

The Delhi Police had moved an application seeking direction to the Delhi Waqf Board and Management committee to produce the land ownership details and building plan approved for constructing the mosque in Nizamuddin.

Earlier the High Court had allowed the reopening of five floors of Masjid Bangle Wali at Markaz premises for offering namaz during Ramzan.

The plea for unlocking was moved by Delhi Waqf Board and Management Committee for the opening of Masjid Bangle Wali for Shab-e-Barat and for the month of Ramzan.

The High Court, on March 22, allowed the reopening of the Masjid Bangle Wali at Markaz premises for Shab e Barat after removing the condition of limiting the number of devotees proposed by the SHO Hazrat Nizamuddin police station.

The court had asked the Delhi Waqf Board and Management Committee to follow the COVID-19 protocol and social distancing and to deploy volunteers with thermal scanners to check the temperature of the visiting devotees. It is also asked the applicants will arrange the thermal scanners. Besides, information regarding the conditions for entry of foreigners will be displayed at every gate.

The counsel for the applicant/petitioner Delhi Waqf Board had placed on record the order of February 26, 2022 issued by District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) withdrawing all the COVID-19 restrictions.

Advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, counsel for the applicant had argued that the Markaz premises should be reopened according to the order issued by DDMA. (ANI) Petitioner Delhi Waqf Board through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq sought to reassess the necessity of keeping the Waqf premises, situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, under their locks.

The petition said that the respondents have put the waqf premises Masjid Bangle Wali, Madarsa Kashif-Ul-Uloom and the attached hostel situated as Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi under their locks since March 31 2020.

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