The Allahabad High Court has refused to intervene in the matter of removing the obstruction in the widening of the Shahi Masjid Saidabad four-lane project on government land of Prayagraj-Handia Highway.
The Division Bench of Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Om Prakash Shukla passed this order while hearing a petition filed by Intezamia Committee Shahi Masjid.
In the written instruction supplied by the Standing Counsel received from the office of the Executive Engineer Construction Division-3, Public Works Department, Prayagraj, it is categorically stated that Shahi Masjid situated on Prayagraj to Handia stretch of State Highway 106 is constructed on Government land.
The Court noted,
As per the report submitted by the Sub Divisional Officer Handia, Prayagraj complete with performa 41/45, site plan and other revenue records which have been submitted alongwith the written instruction supplied. It is then stated that Shahi Masjid is situated over the left side of painted road but inside the permanent land boundary of PWD State Highway and a widening of painted road up to four lane project of State Highway has been sanctioned Government Order dated 05.08.2021 from Prayagaj to Handia.
It is then stated that the above widening of road has become unavoidable in national interest due to increasing traffic and accordingly, all the structures whether new or old lying within State land boundary removal of which, for the widening of the road is unavoidable and those are an encroachment on the government land, accordingly has to be removed for the government project of road widening.
To add to this categorical statement that the aforesaid Shahi Masjid is also an encroachment upon the state land and has to be removed for widening of the road. Process of marking of all encroachment and public announcement for that purpose has been carried out, it is further stated that the widening of road has to be carried out within the limits of the state land and all encroachment has to be removed without any acquisition or compensation process for a larger national purpose.
Looking to the stand taken by the authorities in the written instruction supplied and the enclosure appended therein and in view of the categorical stand of the respondents that the existing construction of Shahi Masjid situated on Prayagraj to Handia stretch of State Highway 106 is an encroachment on the government land as per the report of the Sub Divisional Officer, Handia, Prayagraj, we are not in a position to issue mandamus as claimed by the petitioner herein, the Court observed.
The Court further noted that the Counsel for the petitioner has invited our attention to the report submitted by the revenue department stating therein that the construction namely Shahi Masjid is existing for a long time i.e since before independence. A perusal of the said report indicates that the report is based on the statement made by the people of the locality and there is no data or material which was looked into by the reporting officer before making the above statement with regard to the existence of Shahi Masjid.
“Be that as it may, from the averments made in the writ petition and that of the written instruction supplied, it seems that the dispute is about the title to the property over which the construction exists. For any claim of the petitioner with regard to the land over which Shahi Masjid exists, it is open for it to approach the civil court by filing the civil suit seeking declaration or necessary relief in the same.
In any case, in view of the categorical stand of the respondent, the issue raised herein cannot be entertained within the scope of the writ petition,” the Court further observed while dismissing the petition.