Reliance Wakf land cases hearing adjourned
Maharashtra government issued it a show cause notice terming the land acquisition as illegal possession of Wakf land, reports KS Manoj Kumar.business Updated: Aug 06, 2007 20:00 IST
Mukesh Ambani's firm Antilia Commercial Pvt Ltd that had acquired 4,532 sq metres of land from an orphanage on Altamount Road, Mumbai, for about Rs 21 crore, but later found itself in a legal tangle after the Maharashtra government issued it a show cause notice terming the acquisition as illegal possession of Wakf land, was on Monday given an extension of two weeks to file a reply to the notice.
A battery of lawyers representing Antilia, who presented before the chief executive officer of the Maharashtra State Wakf board, Abdul Rauf Shiekh, who is hearing the case, had sought a three weeks time, to submit their reply as they had not been provided with documents issued by the state government or the Wakf board resolutions, passed to comply the state governments order.
Antilia Commercials local counsel, Anil Deshmukh, put up a strong plea that that since the Chief justice of the Bombay high court was scheduled to here litigations from all over the state over Wakf land disputes on August 27, the board should put of the hearings until then as there was no urgency in deciding their fate.
CEO, Adbul Rauf Sheikh, however, refused to entertain the request saying, that there were innumerable cases lingering in the high court since years and he could not `anticipate? any court decision in the current case over the matter.
Moreover, there was indeed, an urgency in dealing with the 25 Wakf land cases in which the state government had issued show cause notices, (including the Antilia Commercial land), as we have been categorically asked to complete the proceedings as soon as possible the CEO said.
"The Wakf board?s position in the Antilia Commercial case, as it is in the rest if the 25 cases, is clear. You are in unlawful possession of Wakf land, and there is no stay granted by any court on your hold, CEO Rauf said.
Referring to an argument put up by the Currimbhoy Ebrahim Khoja Orphanage trust, that sold the property to Antilia, that the Wakf Act did not apply to it as it did not deal in any wakf owned land, the Wakf, CEO sought to know what then the trust had paid a Wakf Fund (as against a donation) of Rs 16 lakh to the Wakf. It suggest you approve of Wakf ownership over the land, CEO said adding he would discuss details during the next hearings.