Wakf office sealed for good cause': Telangana govt to Hyderabad HC

Government tells court it has no power under law to seize Wakf Board records.

Hyderabad: The TS government on Thursday informed the Hyderabad High Court that it had sealed the office of the Telangana State Wakf Board for a good cause to streamline the affairs of Board. Advocate-General D. Prakash Reddy appearing before a division bench comprising Acting Chief Justice Ramesh Ranganathan and Justice Abhinand Kumar Shavili said that the government had sealed only the record room with a view to protecting wakf properties.

He told the court that a team of six officers was constituted to maintain records in a proper manner and they would not obstruct Board activities. The AG said the government had issued a memo on November 14 for the purpose. He said that the government will take a decision with the consultation of the officers to strea-mline the affairs of the Board. The bench was dealing with a PIL by city advocate M.A.K. Mukheed challenging the sealing of the Board and seizing the records.

Mr Muqeeth Qureshi, senior counsel, appearing for the petitioner, contended that the government had no power to seal the office and seize the records. Replying to a query from the bench with regard to power of the government, the AG said that though the government had no power it had taken the action with a good intention to protect the properties which had been grabbing by unscrupulous elements.

The bench said that though intention was good the government had to follow procedure. It said the issue involved the larger public interest. Reminding the encroachment of Wakf properties at Manikonda area of the city, the bench said the intention of the government was good and the court will protect the interest of the Board. Telling the petitioner to inform the court if the day to day work of the Board was obstructed, the bench posted the case to Tuesday.

Absence in court can cost dearly:

The Hyderabad High Court has held that the failure of a party to the civil suit to appear in the witness box would result in the court drawing presumption that the case set by the party was not correct. A division bench comprising Justice Suresh Kumar Kait and Justice D.V.S.S. Somayajulu was dismissing an appeal by Ms N. Gangamma, wife of former MLA N. Jagannatham, seeking a declaration that she was the daughter of one late Railu Patel on the ground that she had not appeared in the witness box to depose her own case and face cross examination.

The bench said, “It is expected that the plaintiff (Ms Gang-amma) should enter the witness box and depose about her status. The veracity of her case would be tested by cross-examination. In this case, admittedly the plaintiff was not examined as a witness.” Referring to the examination of the husband by the civil court during trial, the bench observed that her husband cannot have any personal knowledge of her paternity with certainty.

The bench reminded, “it is true that as per the provisions of Evidence Act, the husband is a competent witness on behalf of the wife,” the bench said. This does not hold when paternity and declaration of rights are sought to be established. The case of the petitioner was that Railu had nourished her as his own daughter and had performed her marriage with his nephew, Mr Jagannatham, and had borne the marriage expenses from both sides.

Railu had not parted with his landed property to Ms Gangamma as Mr Jagannatham had become an MLA. He had later bequeathed his property to the children of his brother. Aggrieved by the Will of Railu, she had moved the civil court seeking to declare her as the daughter of Railu and owner of the property owned by Railu and declare the Will as null and void. The civil court refused to declare her as the daughter of Railu, but declared the Will as null and void.

The children of Railu’s brother moved the High Court challenging the order of civil court in declaring the Will as null and void. Ms Gangamma challenged the dismissal of her plea to declare her as the daughter of Railu. Justice Kait and Justice Somayajulu declared that the Will was valid and upheld the order of the civil court refusing for the declaration sought by Ms Gangamma.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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