Maintain status quo on Idgah Maidan, says Karnataka HC

Challenging this order, the petitioners contended that Idgah Maidan was notified as a wakf property on June 7, 1965 under the Mysore Wakfs Act, 1954.

Published: 26th August 2022 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th August 2022 02:55 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel keep vigil at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru. (Photo| Vinod Kumar T)

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Passing directions to maintain the status quo on the disputed Idgah Maidan at Chamarajpet in Bengaluru, the Karnataka High Court on Thursday said the land should be used as a playground, while the Muslim community can offer prayers two days a year on Ramzan and Bakrid and not any other day.

Justice Hemant Chandangoudar passed the interim order after hearing a petition filed by the Karnataka State Board of Auqaf, a statutory body created under the Waqf Act, and another petitioner and adjourned the hearing to September 23, 2022.  

The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike joint commissioner on August 6, 2022, rejected the petitioner’s application to register a khata by computerising the property measuring 2 acres 5 guntas in Survey No. 40 in the name of Karnataka State Wakf Board.

BBMP had rejected Wakf Board plea

Rejecting the plea, the joint commissioner stated that the civil cases quoted by the petitioners are only for obtaining a permanent injunction and not connected to the ownership of the land. Only congregational rights for conducting mass prayers to the Muslim community were granted in a civil appeal before the Supreme Court in 1964, the Joint Commissioner said in the order.

“In accordance with the documents submitted before the courts in the civil suits, right for mass prayers by the Muslim community was placed in respect of the Survey No. 40 of Guttahalli village and no arguments with regard to the ownership or possession of Muslim community has been made. When the decision of the Supreme Court is taken into consideration, under Section 36 of the Mysore Land Revenue Code Act, and when it is not effectively proved as to who is the owner of this property, it can be considered that it is the property of the revenue department of the state government, till now from then,” the joint commissioner said.  

Challenging this order, the petitioners contended that Idgah Maidan was notified as a wakf property on June 7, 1965, under the Mysore Wakfs Act, 1954. There is a grave threat of demolition to sensitive religious structures if the impugned order has not stayed. It was also contended that the order would cause jeopardy to the petitioners and the Central Muslim Association of Karnataka which has already succeeded in earlier litigations.

Advocate General Prabhuling K Navadagi submitted that the notification under the 1954 Act is not binding on the state government or BBMP, and the land vests with the government under the Mysore Land Revenue Code and Karnataka Land Revenue Act. The court passed the interim order, observing that it has to consider whether the notification issued under the 1954 Act is binding on the state government.


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