The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a writ petition that sought the removal of the Shahi Masjid on GT Road in Saidabad, Prayagraj, for the purpose of widening a highway.
The court ruled that the issue was not within the scope of the petition.
The high court also clarified that, according to government reports, the mosque was built by encroaching on government land.
Furthermore, the civil court can rule on the issue of land title.
The Shahi Masjid’s Intezamia Committee filed the petition based on a revenue department report stating that the structure had been in existence since pre-independence.
Dismissing the writ petition, a division bench comprising Justice Sunita Agarwal and Justice Om Prakash Shukla observed: “Looking into the stand taken by the authorities in the written instruction supplied today and the enclosure appended therein and in view of the categorical stand of the respondents that the existing construction of Shahi Masjid situated on Prayagraj to Handia stretch of State Highway 106 is an encroachment on the government land namely ‘gata No 402’ as per the report of the sub-divisional officer, Handia, Prayagraj, we are not in a position to issue mandamus as claimed by the petitioner herein.”
In declining to hear the committee’s arguments based on the revenue department report, the court stated in its decision: “A perusal of the said report indicates that it is based on the statement made by the people of the locality and there is no data or material which was looked into by the reporting officer prior to making the above statement with regard to the existence of Shahi Masjid.”