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Sunni Board seeks legal opinion on five acres

Chairman of the board Zufar Ahmad Farooqui said the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has sought legal opinion on how to implement the Supreme Court’s order granting five acres of land to the board for building a mosque in Ayodhya as there’s no unanimit...

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Nov 14, 2019, 09.58 AM IST
Supreme Court
LUCKNOW: The UP Sunni Central Board of Waqf has sought legal opinion on how to implement the Supreme Court’s order granting five acres of land to the board for building a mosque in Ayodhya, even as there’s no unanimity among the Muslim community on the issue, chairman of the board Zufar Ahmad Farooqui told ET.

In its November 9 judgement, the SC said it was invoking Article 142 of the constitution to grant five acres of land to the Sunni Board which will be allotted either by the Centre or the state government for the construction of a mosque.

“Frankly, and I’m not speaking as the chairman on this, but the general sentiment on the ground on this is quite divided,” Farooqui told ET, when asked what the Muslims were thinking about the offer of the alternative land.

Leaders such as Assauddin Owaisi have said Muslims should not accept the land while personalities like Javed AKhtar and Mohd Salim have expressed the view that a hospital or an educational institution should be built on the land rather than a mosque. “There is no unanimity in the community on what should be done. But I will have to go by the legal advice I will get as chairman of the board,” Farooqui told ET.

He said the board’s standing counsel in Lucknow has been asked to give legal opinion on the SC order. “We are bound as per law to comply with the order and hence have sought legal opinion on what action we need to take. I have said earlier on November 9 that we honour and welcome the judgement, have accepted it and will not file any review or curative petition in SC,” Farooqui told ET.

He said it “will be too early to comment” on whether the board will accept the land within the 63-acre acquired complex of Ram Janambhoomi for the mosque or outside it at a “suitable prominent place” as allotted by the state government, going by the SC order. Speaking on November 19 after the judgement, Farooqui had said that “the board had made no demand for 5 acre land before the SC but since it has been given by SC, so we will respect the order”.

The SC order has recorded that the Sunni Board had submitted a signed statement before the mediation panel set up by the SC relinquishing all rights and over the 2.77 acre disputed land subject to some specific conditions. The same report of the mediation committee was submitted to the SC in October on the last day of hearing in the case, saying all parties had not agreed to a mediated formula.

The Allahabad High Court judgement has divided the 2.77 acre disputed land three-ways, giving one portion to the Sunni Waqf Board.
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