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Above: Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari/Photo: Anil Shakya

A PIL on the contentious issue of using titles by religious heads came up for hearing at the Delhi High Court bench of the Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar on Thursday (November 16).

The PIL has challenged the use of title Shahi Imam on grounds that Article 18 (Abolition of titles) of the Constitution prevents the State from conferring any title to its citizens except for military and academic distinction.

The Court has accepted the petitions and has issued notice to the Delhi Waqf Board and the Centre.

The top court of Delhi was hearing a batch of three petitions of which one was seeking removal of title Shahi from the name of Jama Masjid’s Imam Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari, while another two were seeking directions to declare Jama Masjid a protected monument and to remove all encroachments/illegal constructions and a CBI probe into the Jama Masjid management.

The matter was listed for next hearing on February 27, 2018.

—India Legal Bureau

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