K’taka HC refuses to stay Ganesh festival in Hubballi Idgah Maidan

Published on Aug 31, 2022 12:31 AM IST

The court also rejected the argument of the petitioner that the property is covered under the Places of Worship Act, 1991 as other activities like parking, fairs and other events were held on the disputed ground.

Earlier in the day, Justice Ashok Kinagi allowed Hubballi Dharwad municipal commissioner to consider applications by Hindu organisations for installing idols of lord Ganesha at Idgah Maidan. (Representational photo)
Earlier in the day, Justice Ashok Kinagi allowed Hubballi Dharwad municipal commissioner to consider applications by Hindu organisations for installing idols of lord Ganesha at Idgah Maidan. (Representational photo)
By, Bengaluru

: The Karnataka high court in a late night hearing on Tuesday refused to stay Ganesh Chaturthi festival at the Idgah Maidan in the twin city of Hubballi-Dharwad, about 450 km from Bengaluru.

The petition was filed by Anjuman-E-Islam, challenging the order passed by the Hubballi Dharwad municipal commissioner, granting permission to Hindu organisations to install idols of lord Ganesha on Wednesday, celebrated as Ganesh Chaturthi across India.

The court also rejected the argument of the petitioner that the property is covered under the Places of Worship Act, 1991 as other activities like parking, fairs and other events were held on the disputed ground.

“In view of the above discretion, I do not find any grounds to grant an interim prayer as sought by the petitioner, accordingly interim prayer as sought by the petitioner is rejected,” the court said in an order that came around the midnight.

“In the other case in Chamarajpet, the issue is with respect to title. In this case, there is already a declaration of title. Anjuman-e-Islam does not have any right with respect to this property. This is corporation property and the corporation can do whatever it considers appropriate,” said an advocate who was part of the proceedings, requesting anonymity.

Earlier in the day, Justice Ashok Kinagi allowed Hubballi Dharwad municipal commissioner to consider applications by Hindu organisations for installing idols of lord Ganesha at Idgah Maidan. The petitioners mentioned the earlier Supreme Court order on Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru and the judge agreed to take up the matter at 10pm at Chambers, as reported by Live Law.

The verdict comes hours after the apex court refused permission to hold Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations at Idgah Maidan in Bengaluru’s Chamrajpet.

A three-judge bench headed by Justice Indira Banerjee asked all parties in the petition to approach the Karnataka high court for resolution of the dispute and ordered status quo on land by both parties.

“The issues raised in the Special Leave Petition may be agitated by both parties before the high court. In the meanwhile, the status quo as of today will be maintained by both sides. SLP is disposed of,” the bench also comprising justices Abhay S Oka and MM Sundresh noted, as reported by PTI.

Idgah Maidan (ground) in the twin city of Hubballi-Dharwad has been marred in ideological clashes over the years. The Muslim prayer ground is located near the bus station and has been used for prayers by the minority community and other fairs and political campaigns in the past.

According to multiple texts, the Idgah Maidan belongs to the Anjuman-e-Islam, which acquired rights to the ground in 1921 for 999 years at 1 per year.

However, the ownership of the land has come into question and the property has been entangled in several legal battles over the decades.

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