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Guramardeep Singh and Ors. Vs. Ved Vyas and Ors. - (High Court of Punjab and Haryana) (01 Feb 2018)

Jurisdiction of the civil courts is not barred in case of civil dispute regarding the wakf property



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 Petitioner-Defendant No. 1-Punjab Wakf Board ('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."

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.

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, there is no ground to interfere in the same. Revision petitions are dismissed.

Relevant : Ramesh Gobindram (dead) through L.Rs. vs. Sugra Humayun Mirza Wakf MANU/SC/0659/2010


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