HC dismisses plea claiming ownership of Dhannipur mosque land

Plot is different from the one mentioned in plea, say State govt. and Muslim trust

The Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed a petition filed by two Delhi-based sisters claiming ownership over the 5-acre land in Ayodhyaโ€™s Dhannipur village allotted by the Uttar Pradesh government for a mosque and hospital project.

A Lucknow Bench of Justices Devendra Kumar Upadhyaya and Manish Kumar granted the petitioners the liberty to file a fresh petition.

H.J.S. Parihar, senior advocate who argued the case for the petitioners, said he may be permitted to withdraw the petition with liberty to the petitioner to file a fresh petition.

โ€œIn view of the aforesaid, the writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with the aforesaid liberty,โ€ the court said.

The State government through its counsel had opposed the plea saying the plot allotted for the mosque was different from the one mentioned in the petition.

The trust entrusted with building the mosque and hospital quoting a revenue official last Friday also said the same.

The Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation issued the clarification days after the two women moved the Allahabad High Court claiming the ownership in Sohawal Tehsil of Ayodhya. They claimed their father Gyan Chandra Punjabi had come to India during partition from Punjab and settled in Faizabad (now Ayodhya) district where he was reportedly allotted 28 acres in Dhannipur village by the Nazul Department for five years which he continued to possess beyond that period. Later, his name was included in the revenue records but it was struck down from the records against which their father had filed an appeal before the Additional Commissioner, Ayodhya, which was allowed, they claimed.

In the petition, Rani Kapoor alias Rani Baluja and Rama Rani Punjabi demanded that the authorities be restrained from transferring the land to the Sunni Waqf Board till the pendency of the dispute before the settlement officer.

Athar Hussain, secretary of the IICF, issued a statement quoting a revenue official Rajesh Pandey to say โ€œthere is no dispute regarding the Dhannipur mosque landโ€.

The land dispute was in neighbouring Sheikhpur Jafar village, he said.

With the unfurling of the tricolour, singing of the national anthem and planting of saplings of various trees on the plot, the formal construction of the Dhannipur Mosque Project was launched on the Republic Day. The soil testing procedure was also initiated.

The land was allotted to the trust by the State government on the directions of the Supreme Court in the verdict of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute.

The project would have three parts: the mosque based on a modern design and a solar panel roof; a multi-speciality 200-bed hospital and community kitchen and an Indo Islamic Cultural Research Centre, consisting of a library, underground museum and publication house.

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