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Court seeks reply on Ajmer shrine’s administration


New Delhi: The Delhi High Court Tuesday issued notice to the central government seeking an explanation on the appointment of a ‘nazim’ (administrator) on an ad hoc basis for managing the affairs of the cash-rich shrine of Sufi saint Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer.

Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw said: “Issue notice to the respondents (the ministry of minority affairs and the dargah management committee) for Dec 9, seeking their response.”

The shrine, dedicated to the Sufi saint who came to Ajmer from Persia in 1192, attracts thousands of pilgrims throughout the year.

The court issued the notice while hearing a petition filed by Arshad Faridi, a journalist.

“The ministry has, in a break from the past and working, in an arbitrary manner proposed that Abdul Majeed Khan be appointed as a temporary Nazim,” the petition said.

The petitioner, through his counsel Syed Ahmed Saud, said that the established procedures mentioned in the Durgah Khawaja Saheb Act for appointment of the ‘nazim’ have been overlooked by the government.

The petition also sought the quashing of a circular by which senior clerk Abdul Majeed Khan was delegated the role of ‘nazim’ for the management and administration of the affairs of the shrine.

The petitioner sought the initiation of “proper procedure” for appointing a regular administrator for the shrine.

Saud also sought a review of all decisions taken by the ad hoc ‘nazim’.