Ajmer Dargah: HC notice on appointing 'Nazim'



New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre to explain the adhoc appointment of a 'nazim' (administrator) for the cash-reach shrine of sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

"Issue notice to the respondents (the Ministry of Minority Affairs and the Dargah Management Committee) for December 9," Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said.

The court was hearing a petition of Arshad Faridi, a journalist, that the established procedures, discussed in the Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act for appointment of the 'nazim', have been overlooked by the Ministry of Minority Affairs.

The petition, filed through advocate Syed Ahmed Saud, has also sought quashing of a circular by which senior clerk Abdul Majeed Khan has been "delegated the role of the 'nazim' for the management and administration of the affairs of the dargah."

Seeking initiation of "proper procedure" for appointing a regular administrator, the petition also seeks a review of all the decisions taken by the adhoc 'nazim'.

"The dargah of sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti Rehmatullah Aleyh at Ajmer is visited by lakhs of people every year from the world over and those devotees in order to please and seek blessings of the great saint tender offerings in kind and in money," it said, adding the appointment of an adhoc 'nazim' would put the huge wealth of the dargah at risk.

"The respondent Ministry has, in a break from the past and working in an arbitrary manner, proposed that one Abdul Majeed Khan be appointed as a temporary Nazim," it said.

The adhoc measure of the Centre made a mockery of the office of 'nazim' and would result in loss of faith and trust of devotees worldwide causing "loss of offerings, which would not only directly affect the future projects but also gradually put the administration of the dargah in pre-1955 gloomy situations," the petition said.

"The petitioner is aggrieved by lackadaisical attitude of the Ministry by which neither Ahmed Raza's term has been extended as per the recommendation of the Dargah Committee nor has the selection process been initiated in time to appoint a regular nazim having full term. Instead, ad-interim measure has been taken which not only is improper but also puts the office of the administration and finances of the Dargah at huge risk," it said.

PTI