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Delhi Waqf tribunal re-constituted to look into disputes: HC told

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New Delhi, Mar 21 :A tribunal to prosecute all disputes in respect of waqf property and waqf issues has been reconstituted, the AAP government told the Delhi High Court today.

The submission was made before a bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar, which was hearing a plea seeking setting up of a tribunal to hear waqf matters.

The petition filed by advocate Shahid Ali has also sought a direction to enforce eviction orders which have already been passed and awaiting enforcement for several years regarding 990 waqf properties illegally encroached upon in the national capital.

Delhi government’s additional standing counsel Naushad Ahmed Khan said that acting on the plea, a notification for re-constitution of a three-member Delhi Waqf Tribunal was issued on March 12.

“Lt Governor of the National Capital Territory of Delhi is pleased to re constitute the Delhi Waqf Tribunal for Delhi for the determination of any dispute, question or other matter relating to a Waqf or Waqf property, eviction of a tenant or determination or rights and obligations of the lessor and the lessee of such property under the said Act,” the government notification said.

The bench, however, asked the government’s counsel to file by August 21 its response explaining why no action was taken despite the eviction orders.

The Delhi Waqf Board in its affidavit filed in 2015 had said that since 2014, it had written three letters to the Delhi government for issuance of a notification to constitute a tribunal but nothing had been done.

It had told the court that it was having trouble getting its properties vacated from illegal and unauthorised encroachers.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by the advocate in respect of 990 waqf properties here which have already been ordered to be vacated from illegal and unauthorised occupation of encroachers, but the SDMs concerned have not been enforcing the orders.

He has said that between 2006 and 2013, the SDMs had been requested to get the properties vacated through police circle officers.

Previously, these officers had the power to get the properties vacated. But through an amendment in 2013 in the Waqf Act, this right was transferred to the waqf tribunal, he said.