The Supreme Court Monday ordered “status quo” in the matter of eviction of a mosque situated on land in which the Allahabad High Court’s “administrative annexe” is coming up.
Hearing a petition filed by the Waqf Board, a private body managing the mosque, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta issued notices and ordered that “in the meanwhile, status quo, as of today, shall be maintained”.
Acting on a PIL, the High Court had on November 8, 2017 said, the “Waqf, shall handover vacant and peaceful possession of the site in dispute to respondent no 1 — the High Court — within a period of three months…” from the date of the judgment.
The HC order made a note of the “acute crunch of space” it was facing.
Referring to the need to complete constructing of the HC’s administrative annexe without further delay, it said, “Recently, 19 additional Judges have been sworn in, but because of shortage of space, as many as 12 of them are sharing six chambers. The High Court could not arrange and allot them separate chambers. On one or two occasions, when the Division Benches, on Friday had to split and judges were required to sit singly, one judge had to sit in chamber and conduct hearing of the matters assigned to him.”
The mosque management had approached the SC and the petition had come up for hearing first in February this year.