Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court today directed the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board to remove a mosque constructed on its land and hand over the possession of the plot in three months.
A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Dilip B Bhosale and Justice M K Gupta said if the board failed to do so, the registrar general of the High Court would have to take possession of the same with the help of police. The land in dispute was situated near the main building and adjacent to the newly constructed nine-storeyed building of the high court.
The order was passed allowing a PIL filed by one Abhishek Shukla of Allahabad. The petitioner had moved the court alleging that the mosque had been constructed after encroaching on the high court land.
The court, while passing the order, observed that the high court was itself facing acute shortage of land due to which even judges were asked to sit jointly in a single chamber.
It said some judges held court in their chambers because of the shortage and even the fire officials had not issued no-objection certificates to the nine-storeyed building.
It directed the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board to remove the unauthorised construction and handover the possession of the encroached land in three months.
However, the court said it was open to the board moving an application to the district administration for allotting a piece of plot for offering prayers.
It also directed the registrar general to not allow individuals belonging to any religion to perform religious activities, including offering prayers.