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WAKF Board Should Immediately Take up Matters in Interest of Justice With Reasonable Endeavors To Pass Appropriate Orders: Kerala High Court

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Case: Balusseri Mahallu Jama-ath v. C. Basheer & Others


An Original Petition arising out of I.A. No. 40/2021 in W.O.S. No. 138/2019 on the file of the Waqf Tribunal, Kozhikode was filed under Article 227 of the Indian Constitution. 

Facts of the Case

The 1st petitioner, C. Basheer was a Waqf registered with the 2nd respondent, The Kerala State Wakf Board. The 1st respondent was its tenant. When he had committed default in payment of rent, W.O.S No. 138/2019 was filed in which a decree was passed. The Waqf Tribunal had allowed the Petitioners to recover Rs. 12,38,400/- along with cost of Rs.1,26,255/- from 1st respondent. It was further directed that the amount already in the deposit could be withdrawn by the petitioners. 

The petitioners had filed the instant Original Petition (Waqf) prayers for the following:

  1. a) Issue directions to the Wakf Tribunal, Kozhikode directing it to issue a cheque amounting to Rs. 2,04,000/- in favour of the 1st respondent as ordered by the Waqf Tribunal and to pass urgent orders in application to release the cheque immediately. 
  2. b) Pass such other orders which this Honourable Court may deem fit to grant in the facts and circumstances of the case and the interest of justice. 
  3. c) Allow the cost of this proceeding to the Petitioner. 

Averments and Contentions by the Parties

During the pendency of the suit, Rs. 2,04,000/- was deposited by the 1st respondent in the Tribunal towards arrears of rent. The petitioners had filed a cheque application for the release of the said amount. The Cheque Application was allowed on 23.10.2020. None of the respondents challenged the said order as of that date. The 1st respondent had filed CRP (Waqf) No. 32/2020 against the order and obtained a conditional stay order. According to this, there had to be a stay on the previous order if the 1st respondent deposits a sum of Rs. 5,00,000/- before the Tribunal before 10.12.2020 and if he had continued to pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- every month towards rent. The said conditions were not fulfilled and hence there was no stay. Meanwhile, he had also vacated the building. Though as per the order of the Waqf Tribunal, to issue a cheque for Rs.2,04,000/- in favour of the petitioners, given this order the cheque was not issued. 

On 06.01.2021, the petitioners filed an application to release the cheque according to the order. In the application, the 1st respondent who had deposited the amount did not file any objection. However, the Waqf Tribunal observed that the cheque could not be released unless the petitioners got further clarification in the conditional stay order. In the view of the conditional stay order, if the conditions were not fulfilled, there was no stay at all. Therefore, there was no justifiable reason for not issuing a cheque as ordered by the Waqf Tribunal and for delaying the disposal of the application. Hence, the petitioners had filed an original petition, directing the Waqf Tribunal to issue the cheque as ordered by the Waqf Tribunal and for passing urgent orders in the application filed for the release of the cheque. 

Court’s Observations

The Court had observed that without getting into the merits of the controversy in any manner, it was ordered in the interest of justice that in the application dated 06.01.2021 filed before the Waqf Tribunal was still pending consideration before the Waqf Tribunal and no orders had been passed. Thereon, the Waqf Tribunal would immediately take up the application for consideration and all reasonable endeavours would be taken by the Waqf Tribunal. It was to ensure that after hearing all parties concerned including the petitioners and respondents, it would pass appropriate orders following the law, to dispose of the application without much delay. 

Court’s Decision

The Court had opined that due to lockdown and pandemic issues, any strict timeline was not stipulated, but the court had apprised that the application was now posted for consideration before the Tribunal on 11.06.2021. If that be so, all efforts would be taken to ensure the disposal of the application, without any further delay. 

The Registry would forward certified copies of the judgment to the Waqf Tribunal, Kozhikode, who was dealing with W.O.S. No. 138/2019 as well as to all the three respondents by the speed post, at the cost of the petitioner. 

With these observations and directions, the Original Petition was disposed of. 

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