NEW DELHI : The Delhi High Court on Friday sought BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay’s response to an intervention application moved by the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind against his plea challenging the Waqf Act, 1995.
Asking Upadhyay’s reply in the matter, a bench comprising Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium slated the matter for hearing on November 4.
In its plea, the Jamiat argued that on at least two occasions, no less than the Chief Justice of India, himself seemed to have rebuked the petitioner (Upadhyay) for filing frivolous petitions.
In May, the high court had also issued a notice on Upadhyay’s PIL challenging the constitutional validity of the provisions of the Act terming it “arbitrary”.
His PIL contended that there was no safeguard for Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, and other communities to save their properties from inclusion in the list of Waqf issued by Waqf Boards and therefore are discriminated.
It offends Articles 14-15, it said.Petitioner Upadhyay was challenging the vires of S. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14 of the Act, stating these provisions grant special status to Waqf properties denying equal status to Trust, Mutts, Akharas, Societies, and confer unbridled powers to Waqf Boards to register any property as Waqf property.
“If the impugned Act has been made to protect the rights guaranteed under Articles 29-30 then it has to cover all the minorities i.e., followers of Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Judaism, Bahaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and not only Islam,” the plea read.
It further said that states collect around Rs 1 lakh crore from four lakh temples but there were no similar provisions for Hindus. Thus, the Act offends Article 27. — IANS