The High Court of Punjab and Haryana in it’s judgement on 1st February 2018, Case of Guramardeep Singh and Ors. Vs. Ved Vyas and Ors Revision petitions are filed against impugned orders by which ad interim injunction was granted in favour of Plaintiff-Respondent No. 1. Plaintiff-Respondent No. 1 filed a suit for permanent injunction against the present Punjab Wakf Board (Petitioner-Defendant No. 1) (‘Board’) as well as, Respondent-Defendant Nos. 2 and 3 for permanent injunction for restraining them from dispossessing or interfering in his possession over the property consisted of two shops-cum-store and saw mill, illegally and forcibly in any manner.
If the lease agreement is executed and the Board feels that, the Plaintiff-Respondent No. 1 has rendered himself liable for ejectment, it is required to approach the civil Courts for this purpose. Mere alleged breach of lease deed, ipso facto would not mean that tenancy stands terminated, merely by serving a notice and possession revert back to the Board.
The Wakf Tribunal can decide all disputes, questions or other matters relating to a Wakf or Wakf property. The words “any dispute, question or other matters relating to a Wakf or Wakf property” are, in our opinion, words of very wide connotation. Any dispute, question or other matters whatsoever and in whatever manner which arises relating to a Wakf or Wakf property can be decided by the Wakf Tribunal. The word ‘Wakf’ has been defined in Section 3 (r) of the Wakf Act, 1995 and hence once the property is found to be a Wakf property as defined in Section 3 (r), then any dispute, question or other matter relating to it should be agitated before the Wakf Tribunal.”
It is rightly put up
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– Evander Holyfield
The Apex Court in dealing with the judgments of Ramesh Gobindram (dead) through L.Rs. vs. Sugra Humayun Mirza Wakf observed that, from a conjoint reading of the provisions of Sections 6 and 7, it is clear that the jurisdiction to determine whether or not a property is a wakf property or whether a wakf is a Shia wakf or a Sunni wakf rests entirely with the Tribunal and no suit or other proceeding can be instituted or commenced in a Civil Court in relation to any such question after the commencement of the Act. Under Section 6 read with Section 7, the institution of the Civil Court is barred only in regard to questions that are specifically enumerated therein. The bar is not complete so as to extend to other questions that may arise in relation to the wakf property.
Section 6 in The Wakf Act, 1995
- Disputes regarding wakfs.—
(1) If any question arises whether a particular property specified as wakf property in the list of wakfs is wakf property or not or whether a wakf specified in such list is a Shia wakf or Sunni wakf, the Board or the mutawalli of the wakf or any person interested therein may institute a suit in a Tribunal for the decision of the question and the decision of the Tribunal in respect of such matter shall be final: Provided that no such suit shall be entertained by the Tribunal after the expiry of one year from the date of the publication of the list of wakfs. Explanation.—For the purposes of this section and section 7, the expression “any person interested therein”, shall, in relation to any property specified as wakf property in the list of wakfs published after the commencement of this Act, shall include also every person who, though not interested in the wakf concerned, is interested in such property and to whom a reasonable opportunity had been afforded to represent his case by notice served on him in that behalf during the course of the relevant inquiry under section 4.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), no proceeding under this Act in respect of any wakf shall be stayed by reason only of the pendency of any such suit or of any appeal or other proceeding arising out of such suit.
(3) The Survey Commissioner shall not be made a party to any suit under sub-section (1) and no suit, prosecution or other legal proceeding shall lie against him in respect of anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in pursuance of this Act or any rules made thereunder.
(4) The list of wakfs shall, unless it is modified in pursuance of a decision or the Tribunal under sub-section (1), be final and conclusive.
(5) On and from the commencement of this Act in a State, no suit or other legal proceeding shall be instituted or commenced in a court in that State in relation to any question referred to in sub-section (1).
It is held that, controversy is covered by the said judgment of Ramesh Gobindram’s case. In view of the latest pronouncements by the Apex Court, it is to be held that the jurisdiction of the civil Courts is not barred, in case of civil dispute regarding the wakf property. The civil Courts have the jurisdiction. Both the courts below after going through the record and after considering the facts and law on the point granted injunction. Therefore, the revision petition was dismissed by the High Court of Punjab and Haryana and the jurisdiction of civil courts was not questioned.