Saturday, February 4, 2023

Delhi High Court seeks response from Centre in petition challenging validity of Waqf Board

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Central Government received a notice from the Delhi High Court today in a PIL challenging constitutional validity of the Waqf Act where the court mentioned only a Uniform Civil Code can govern properties of citizens .

Division Bench comprising of Acting Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Navin Chawla have given four weeks time the Central government and the Central Waqf Board Council to respond to the petition.

The petition will be now heard on July 28 along with a similar petition which was filed on April 20 by leader of BJP Ashwani Kumar Upadhyay.

The petition in the case states that religious properties are a private affair and the State should not be permitted to manage them using public money. “The Parliament cannot make law and give special status and discriminate against similarly situated citizens and other religious communities arbitrarily in violation of the scheme of the Constitution and the basic structure of the Constitution,”.

The petition argued that the management of Waqf properties is necessarily done on religious lines. It says

The purpose and object of the Waqf Act is for the religious minded and pious people, with a view to spiritual advancement, set apart some portion of their property for the purpose of its being utilised for the benefit of mankind. The idea in creating an Act for private property must apply on all the Citizens of India including Non-Muslims, for example the Uniform Civil Code (UCC for short).”

.The court opined that “Muslim personal laws anyways can-not over-ride the Constitutional values and basic structure and basic features of Secularism, Equality and its only by use of UCC that we can achieve the values of Fraternity.”

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