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Bukhari has no right to appoint son as successor, court told

Bukhari said that he will wait for the court’s order before taking a decision on holding the ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

Written by Aneesha Mathur | New Delhi |
Updated: November 21, 2014 3:26:55 am
Shaban Bukhari Shaban Bukhari

The Centre and the Delhi Waqf board on Thursday told Delhi High Court that “Shahi Imam” Syed Ahmed Bukhari’s move to appoint his son as his deputy and successor “had no legal sanctity”.

During arguments before the court, board member and advocate Rana Parveen Siddiqui said Imam Bukhari was “aware” that the ceremony “did not have the authority of the Waqf board” and that it had “not appointed” his son Shaban Bukhari.

The board’s counsel advocate Wajid Shafiq also told the court that the board was the caretaker of Jama Masjid and would soon appoint a managing committee to look into its affairs.

Bukhari separately said on Thursday that he will wait for the court’s order before taking a decision on holding the ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, appearing on behalf of the central government, said Bukhari had no right to make such an appointment and hold the anointment ceremony in the premises of the masjid.

Mehta told the court this was a “larger issue” of protection of the “ancient monument”. He also said deputy imam was a statutory position under the Waqf board act and “directions should be given that the dastarbandi ceremony will not confer any legal right or equity”.

The court of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice R S Endlaw also pulled up the Waqf board and central government, asking why they had “not done their job” and taken a decision on the issue of the appointment of the naib imam.

“The board is the competent authority, so why have you not done anything? Issue notice to the Imam and ask him what is this ceremony (about),” the court said.
Siddiqui told the court that the ceremony had “no authority” and the board would take action only when a proper application is filed by the Imam to confer the position of the naib Imam.

“This ceremony has no sanctity because the Waqf board has not appointed him,” Siddiqui said.

Three separate PILs have been filed before the High Court against the appointment. The PILs also seek a stay on the anointment ceremony.

Meanwhile, a civil suit was also filed on Thursday evening by a man claiming to be the descendant of mughal emperor Bahadurshah Zafar, who said that the post of the Shahi imam was not hereditary.

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