The Indraprastha Vishwa Hindu Parishad has warned against the biased move of Government of India to transfer 123 prime location properties of Delhi to Delhi Wakf Board. Most of these properties are situated at prime locations, many of strategic importance and in high-end areas. The Parishad has been fighting for these properties since 1984 in the court of law and the court has issued no direction to transfer these properties to anyone. The IVHP said the entire process of transferring these properties is wrong and they cannot be transferred to anyone as per the court directions.
The matter has a history. It was in 1970 that the Delhi Wakf Board (DWB) notified these properties as Wakf. The Union of India (UoI), in each case, served a notice upon DWB challenging the notification. The UoI thereafter, filed suits in all 123 cases, challenging the notification. After completion of the pleadings, issues were framed and dates for trial were set. The case of UoI was that all these properties had been acquired. The process of acquisition completed in 1911–1915. The properties had vested in the government. Some properties were transferred to DDA. Thus, the properties do not belong to the Wakf Board.
In 1974, the UoI appointed a Committee under the Chairmanship of SMH Burney to consider the issue of these properties and recommend about them. Burney was also the Chairman of DWB at that time. The Committee produced a biased report. In two properties, one in the lawns of Vice-President of India and the second inside the wireless station, the said high-powered Committee was not allowed to enter, as per its report. Yet, for both of them as for 121 others the Committee found that they were functional Wakfs.
The UoI accepted the recommendations of the Burney Committee. It decided to transfer all these properties to the DWB on lease at Re 1 per annum per acre. This was done vide office order dated 27.03.1984 vide no. J.20011/4/74.1-II, Govt. of India, Ministry of Works and Housing.
This was challenged in the High Court of Delhi by way of a Writ Petition (C) 1512 of 1984. A stay was granted. Rule was issued. The High Court repeatedly asked if the UoI had a policy to give back lands to religious committees on lease from whom it was acquired. There was no policy.
Finally, on August 26, 2010, Shri Prag P Tripathi, then Addl. Solicitor General had to concede and say that the UoI was likely to take a policy decision in the matter in four weeks. No decision could be taken till January 12, 2011. The writ petition was disposed on 12.01.2011 with the following observations:
“Let the Union of India re-look in the matter and take a decision within six months from today, till then, the interim order passed by this Court on 01.06.1984 shall remain in force. Needless to say, when we have directed that the Union of India shall have a fresh look in to the matter it shall keep in view the law in praesenti and the factual position.” All other issues and contentions were left open.
The UoI could not take decision within six months from the order. It sought and was granted further six months for the purpose. “We are now in 2014. The Indian Express has reported that the Government is mulling to denotify the said 123 properties and transfer their ownership to DWB. The act would be unlawful. The Government cannot de-notify and transfer properties to one religious committee. It shall have to make a policy, applicable and good for all communities,” said Indraprastha Vishwa Hindu Parishad media chief Vinod Bansal while talking to Organiser.
The unlimited, unabashed and arbitrary appeasement of one or the other community for vote banks has no Constitutional or legal sanction. “We are going to request the LG and the authorities concerned to stop the process of conferring largesse of public properties to one community. We make it plain, that if the Govt. flounders, we the people of Delhi will fight back and defeat the plan,” Shri Bansal added.