Manikonda wakf property: AP wakf board to fight against govt. in SC

By Mohd. Ismail Khan,,

Hyderabad: Closing all the doors for reconciliation with Andhra Pradesh government and Lanco Infra Tech, the state Wakf Board has decided to take the service of five leading advocates to fight the case in the Supreme Court. No other alternate land arrangement will be accepted, and there will be no question of accepting monetary compensation, it was decided the wakf board meeting called by its chairman Khusro Pasha Ghulam Afzal Biyabani.

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The meeting was called to discuss the plans for fighting the case of 1654 acre prime wakf land of Dargah Hazrat Hussain Shah Wali which is encroached by Lanco Infra Tech and several residential complexes were built on it.

The special meeting held in the wakf board office at Haj House decided that the wakf board will do everything in its capacity to fight the legal battle in the Supreme Court. The board has formed a three member committee to select the leading advocates in the country to represent the wakf board case. The committee has Khusro Pasha, chairman of the wakf board, Z.H. Javed, member A.P. bar council, and A.H. Razvi. A monitoring committee has also been formed to have a better coordination with advocates fighting the case in Supreme Court. The members of monitoring committee will be senior advocates, Sahfiqur Rehman Muhajir, Masood Ali Khan, and deputy secretary of wakf board Sultan Ahmed.

The chairman announced that wakf board team will soon visit New Delhi to meet and select eminent advocates. He said wakf board will leave no stone unturned to get back the property worth nearly Rs 5,000 crore.

On 3rd April A.P. high court gave the judgment that 1654 acre land of Dargah Hussain Shah Wali is indeed wakf property and case should be solved in a wakf tribunal. The Congress Government of Andhra Pradesh which allotted the land to Lanco Infra Tech owned by Congress MP Lagadpatti Rajgopal and the company were shocked by the order as hundreds of residential complexes were already built on that land in the name of Lanco Hills. Both parties went to the Supreme Court and filed an appeal on special leave petition to quash the order of A.P high court. On 8th May the Supreme Court accepted the petition and gave stay on the orders of the high court.

In the Supreme Court A.P government is represented by Attorney General G. Vahanvati, and senior Advocates Gopal Subramaniam, R. Venkat Ramni. On the Lanco infra tech side advocates Harish Salve, Akhil Sibal, Mukul Ruhusgi, Umesh Kumar Kehtan, Deepak Khurana, will argue the case.

In the Supreme Court the advocates of A.P govt and Lanco hills argued that they had already invested huge amount on building residential complexes, and they are ready to provide same amount of alternate land to the wakf borad, or even ready to compensate it for its loss. Justice K.S. Radhakrishanan and Deepak Mishra posted the next hearing on 13th August.

Seeing the strong line of advocates on the opponents’ front, now wakf board has also decided that they will not fall behind in hiring leading advocates to represent their case, before the next hearing.

On the proposal from opponents to settle the wakf land dispute with alternate arrangement or with monetary compensation, A.P. wakf board has reacted in no compromise mood: “the wakf land dispute should be settle according to the wakf laws of Islam, accepting money or alternate land for the wakf land is not permissible under wakf law. Even if we go ahead and accept the proposal it will lay down a bad precedent and it will hamper the prospect of thousands of wakf cases in different courts in the country.”