Ayodhya: SC trashes plea for summoning Waqf Board-backed IICF Trust records

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By PTI

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking summoning of Trust deed of Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), constituted by the Sunni Waqf Board, to construct the mosque-hospital complex at Ayodhya in the five-acre land and termed it as an interference in its Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute verdict of 2019.

The plea challenged an Allahabad High Court order rejecting an application for summoning of the Trust deed of IICF.

On November 9, 2019, the top court had in a unanimous historic verdict cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna said that it is not going to interfere with the June 14, order of the High Court and dismissed the plea.

“We are not inclined to entertain the Special Leave Petition under Article 136 of the Constitution. The Special Leave Petition is accordingly dismissed”, the bench said.

It said, “This plea is to interfere with our Ayodhya Verdict. Sorry, we are not going to interfere with the High Court order. This is how litigation has become a gamble.”

The High Court had on June 14 this year refused to direct to summon the records including Trust deed from Sunni Waqf Board by virtually dismissing a PIL filed by Nadeem Ahmad and others.

The petitioners have sought quashing of the formation of the Trust and have sought summoning of the records of the trust claiming to be in the possession of Sunni Central Board of Waqf.

They have claimed in the PIL before the High Court that the Waqf Board, whose term was extended time to time by the state government, has neither the jurisdiction to constitute the Trust nor any power to utilise the five-acre land given to it in pursuant to the direction of the top court.

They have alleged that Waqf Board is not supplying the certified copy of the Trust of deed and it is impossible to produce them in the court.

The petitioners referred to the 1984 verdict of the top court that in a PIL it is necessary to depart from the adversarial procedure and to evolve a new procedure which will make it possible to bring necessary material before the court for enforcement of the fundamental rights and the law.

“In the present case the petitioners have brought cogent material which amounts to produce secondary evidence before the court with regard to the formation of the said Trust in the forms of the various news report and from own website of the said Trust and it is not possible for the petitioners to produce the copy of the Trust deed which is admittedly in the possession of Waqf Board which is not producing the same before the court,” the plea said.

The appeal filed through advocate Shashank Singh said that the only option left with the petitioners was to apply under the Right to Information Act and to apply for a certified copy of the Trust deed but despite these requests, the Waqf Board has not supplied the same.

“In the circumstances, the high court ought to have allowed the application for summoning the record and should have directed the respondent Waqf Board and other respondents to produce the Trust deed before the court or direction should have been issued to the Waqf Board to supply a certified copy of the same to the petitioners,” the plea said.

Terming the dismissal of the application as “illegal and arbitrary”, the plea said that the High Court has acted illegally and failed to exercise the jurisdiction vested in it.

On June 14, the High Court had granted liberty to the petitioners to file the documents related to the Trust deed and other relevant material before the court in four weeks.

It had said that within four weeks the petitioners shall file the Trust deed which sought to be quashed and if it is not done so, the writ petition would stand dismissed for non-compliance of the order of the court.

The High Court has directed the PIL to be listed on July 25 but said that if the compliance of the order is not made within four weeks the petition will not be listed.



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