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The Supreme Court has ordered the removal of the mosque built in the Allahabad High Court building within 3 months. He has also said that the Waqf Board can seek land from the state government elsewhere to build a mosque. Earlier in the year 2017, the Allahabad High Court had ordered the removal of the mosque built in the court premises.
In the hearing held on Monday (13 March 2023), the bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Kumar of the Supreme Court dismissed all the petitions filed against the decision of the Allahabad High Court to remove the mosque. Along with this, the court has given 3 months time to remove the mosque.
The Supreme Court has said in its order that if the mosque is not removed within 3 months, the Allahabad High Court and other authorities can demolish the mosque. Apart from this, the Supreme Court has said in its order that if the petitioners wish, they can ask the state government for land elsewhere to build a mosque.
While giving the decision to remove the mosque, the Supreme Court has also said that the mosque was built on land leased from the government. This lease has been canceled in the year 2002 itself. After this, in the year 2012, the Supreme Court had said that this land is government. That is why no one can make any kind of claim for this land.
Former Congress leader and lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for the mosque, said the mosque was built since the 1950s. That is why it cannot be asked to be deleted just like that. He said, “The government changed in the year 2017 and everything changed. A PIL is filed 10 days after the formation of the new government. Until we get another land, we will have a problem moving the mosque somewhere.”
On the other hand, senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi, appearing for the Allahabad High Court in this case, said it was a case of complete fraud. “The renewal applications were made twice. But, it was not said that the mosque was built and that it was being used for the public. Instead, the renewal was sought saying it was needed for residential purposes. This place does not become a mosque just by offering Namaz here. If prayers are allowed in the verandah of the Supreme Court or the verandah of the High Court, for convenience, it will not become a mosque.”