Non-Muslims too can create "Wakf" property: SC

Last Updated: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 21:10

New Delhi: Even non-Muslims can create
"Wakf" property but it would be invalid if done with a sinful
objective to subvert the law, the Supreme Court has ruled
upholding the land acquisition of a popular educational
institution in the national capital.

A Bench of Justices G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly
in a judgement slammed Ramjas Foundation, an Educational
institution, for concealing facts from the court in order to
prevent DDA from acquiring its land at Chowkri Mubarikabad
for development of NCR region.

The Bench said the instituiton had concealed the fact
that its earlier batch of petitions in the Delhi High Court
and the Supreme Court vis-a-vis its other land in Sadhora
Khurd claiming to be a Wakf property was dismissed.

However, it said dedicating one`s property as "Wakf"
(dedication) to God can be done even by non-Muslims.

Quoting the book on Mohammadan Law (Fourth Edition)
Volume I, Ammer Ali, the apex court said "any person or
whatever creed may create Wakf, but the law requires that the
object for which the dedication is made should be lawful
according to the creed of the dedicator as well as the Islamic
doctrines.

"Divine approbation being essential in the constitution
of a Wakf, if the object for which a dedication is made is
sinful, either according to the laws of Islam or to
the creed of the dedicator it would not be valid.

"This shows that a non-Muslim can also create a Wakf
for any purpose which is religious under the Mohammedan Law.
However, the object of the Wakf must be lawful according to
the religious creed of the maker as well," Justice Singhvi,
writing the judgement, said.

By notification dated 13.11.1959 issued under Section 4
of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894, Delhi government had
sought to acquire 34,070 acres of land, including 872 bighas
and 17 biswas land at Chowkri Mubarikabad and 730 bighas land
situated at Sadhora Khurd of Ramajas Foundation which it
claimed to have been dedicated to Wakf by its original owner
Rai Sahib Kedar Nath, himself a retired sessions judge.

The Foundation had challenged the acquistion of the land
on the ground that it was a Wakf property and exempted under
clause (d) of notification dated 13.11.1959.

The government, however, opposed the plea saying the apex
court had in 2002 dismissed the Foundation`s plea that the
property held by it was a Wakf property and is exempted from
acquisition.

Dismissing the appeal, the apex court said "strangely, in
the list of dates of the special leave petition out of which
this appeal arises, there is not even a whisper about large
number of cases filed by appellant No.1 (Ramajas) challenging
the acquisition of land situated at village Sadhora Khurd, the
grounds on which the challenge was founded and the orders
passed by the High Court and this Court.

"The appellants also suppressed the fact that after
dismissal of the first appeal by the Division Bench of the
High Court, possession of the land was taken by the Land
Acquisition Collector on 13.7.2001 and transferred to the
Delhi Development Authority", the court said.

The Bench said the organisation suppressed the facts to
ensure an interim stay order of dispossession.

"The principle that a person who does not come to the
court with clean hands is not entitled to be heard on the
merits of his grievance and, in any case, such a person is not
entitled to any relief is applicable not only to the petitions
filed under Articles 32, 226 and 136 of the Constitution but
also to the cases instituted in others courts and judicial
forums.

"The object underlying the principle is that every
court is not only entitled but is duty-bound to protect itself
from unscrupulous litigants who do not have any respect for
truth and who try to pollute the stream of justice by
resorting to falsehood or by making misstatement or by
suppressing facts which have a bearing on adjudication of the
issue(s) arising in the case," the Bench said.

PTI



First Published: Tuesday, November 9, 2010 - 21:10

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