PIL in SC seeks appointing govt nominees in Ayodhya mosque trust


PTI, Aug 26, 2020, 6:47 PM IST

New Delhi: A PIL in the Supreme Court has sought directions for nominating Central and State government representatives from among Sunnis to the ‘Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation’ trust for building a mosque in Ayodhya.

The apex court on November 9 last year had paved the way for the construction of a Ram Temple by a Trust at the disputed Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya and directed the Centre to allot an alternative 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a “prominent” place in the holy town in Uttar Pradesh.

In a bid to put an end to the more than a century-old dispute that had torn the social fabric of the nation, the top court in a unanimous 5-0 verdict ruled that the 2.77 acres of disputed land where the demolished Babri Masjid once stood will remain with a central government receiver and be handed over to a Trust within three months for the construction of the temple.

The plea, filed by advocates Shishir Chaturvedi and Karunesh Kumar Shukla, said that apart from private individuals and members of state Sunni Board, the presence of central and state government representatives was essential to ensure proper management of the funds.

According to the plea, Sunni Waqf Board on July 29, 2020, declared creating a trust under the title of ‘Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation’ for building a mosque, cultural and research centre and public utility facilities including a community kitchen, a hospital and a library within 5 acres land allotted to it.

It said there was no provision for nominating any officer of the government, like the trust created by the Central government. It is expected that hundreds of people will visit the ‘Islamic Trust’ site and it will get contributions from within India as also from foreign countries, the plea said, adding that there should be proper management of the funds and the property vested in the trust.

“It is in the public interest that the Central Government and the State Government may have all relevant information about the working of the trust to maintain public order and to ensure that no malpractices take place and the funds are not mis-utilised or misappropriated by any trust,” the petition said.

It said that government may be directed to create a trust making provision for the nomination of its officers in the same manner that the provision has been made in Ayodhya Teerth Kshetra Trust created by Central Government vide order dated February 5.

“Issue direction in the nature of mandamus directing the Central Government to create a Trust making provision for representation of the nominees of the Central and State government belonging to Sunni Muslims in Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust which may carry out construction work and manage the affairs over 5-acre land allotted in Dhannipur Village, District Ayodhya, UP to Sunni Central Waqf Board,” the plea said.

The disputed site in Ayodhya was occupied by the 16th-century Babri mosque which was destroyed by kar sevaks on December 6, 1992. The demolition had triggered communal riots.

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