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Delhi HC defers order on dastarbandi of Jama Masjid deputy imam

Hearing the pleas, the court questioned why the Waqf board has not taken any action on the issue.

Shaban, 19, to be next Jama Masjid Imam. (Source: Express archives) The Imam of India’s largest mosque had recently roused controversy by announcing that his 19-year-old son would be appointed the deputy imam.

The Delhi High Court on Thursday deferred its judgment by tomorrow on the pleas against dastarbandi ceremony of naib imam of Jama Masjid.

Three petitions seeking a stay on the dastarbandi ceremony (anointment) for the son of Jama Masjid’s “Shahi Imam” Ahmed Bukhari as the “deputy” or naib Imam have been filed before the Delhi High Court.

Hearing the pleas, the court questioned why the Waqf board has not taken any action on the issue. It also asked whether any legal rights arise after the dastarbandi ceremony.

Additional solicitor general Tushar Mehta, who is representing the Archeological Survey of India, told the court that the ceremony should not be held in the ancient monument as cultural sanctity is attached to the place.

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Member and Delhi Waqf board advocate Rana Parveen Siddiqui told the court that Imam has no legal position unless ratified by the Waqf board. The Waqf board counsel Wajid Shafiq said the board has not given any permission.

The Imam of India’s largest mosque had recently roused controversy by announcing that his 19-year-old son would be appointed the deputy imam and had later said that the dastarbandi was a “private religious ceremony”.

Alleging that the post of an imam cannot be hereditary under Islam or under Indian law, the pleas state that Imam Bukhari is an “appointee” of the Waqf Board and cannot be allowed to appoint his own successor.

First published on: 20-11-2014 at 14:01 IST
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