NEW DELHI: Dismissing BJP MP Parvesh Verma’s claim that several mosques and graveyards in West Delhi have come upon government land, the five-member fact-finding committee set up by the Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) observed that his assertion is false and baseless.
In its 169-page report, the panel noted, “None of the names of masjids, Mazars, madrasa, or graveyards were found to be illegally built or encroached on the government land as claimed by the MP.”
On June 18, Verma wrote to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Anil Baijal, seeking an inquiry into the “mushrooming of mosques on government land” in the national capital. Later, he also submitted a list of 54 mosques and graveyards that were allegedly built on government land in an unauthorised manner.
The report rubbishing Verma’s claims was made public on Thursday.
Chairman of the committee and social activist Ovais Sultan Khan said it had found no substance in Verma’s claim, which is sufficient ground to initiate legal proceedings against the MP for spreading rumours to target a particular community.
“The list was prepared in a careless manner to spoil the social atmosphere before the assembly elections. The buildings mentioned in the list largely belong to communities, families and individuals, who were displaced or relocated in 1947 Partition, 1976 Emergency, and 2004 Commonwealth Games preparations,” Ovais said.
Khan said the panel also recommended Delhi Minorities Commission to file a complaint against Verma before Lok Sabha’s Ethics Committee as it is clearly found that he has violated his oath of office.
Zafarul Islam Khan, Chairman of Delhi Minority Commission, said that the committee had given eight recommendations including registration of a complaint and the commission would take an appropriate action.
Responding to the development, Verma said that the commission had no locus standi and power to investigate the matter.
“The commission has no power to check who the owner of the land is. This does not fall under their purview. Only the district magistrate concerned, Delhi Development Authority’s vice chairman, and Municipal Officials can tell about the owner of the land properties,” said the MP.
Verma in a statement said, “Even though most of its members are from the Aam Aadmi Party, they do not have any right to investigate the ownership of government lands. It is against the rules of natural Justice that the perpetrator to investigate his offence and pass the sentence. The report is prima facie illegal and lacks authority.”
The Delhi Minorities Commission (DMC) chairman said that the report would be submitted to the L-G and other authorities.
TIMELINE OF EVENTS
June 18: BJP MP from West Delhi Parvesh Verma wrote to Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, seeking an inquiry into ‘mushrooming of mosques on government land’ in the national capital
June 24: The DMC instituted a five-member fact finding team committee to look into the claim
July 10: Verma handed over a list of 51 mosques, two graveyards, and two shrines in his constituency to L-G Anil Baijal claiming all of them have been built illegally on the government land
July 30: The panel submitted the report to the commission
July 31: Verma raised the issue in Parliament during the discussion on Public Premises Eviction of Unauthorised Occupants (Amendment) Bill 2019. He claimed that there are more than 500 places in Delhi and West Delhi in particular where such unauthorised constructions— mosques, graveyards and mazaars — exist
August 01:The DMC released the report of the five-member panel and recommended action against Verma