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Friday, September 30, 2022

Azam Khan obtained land grant for University, but constructed a mosque!

In a jolt to Samajwadi Party MP Mohd Azam Khan, the Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition filed by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust against proceedings initiated by the state government to take over the land of the Jauhar University in Rampur.

The action had been taken by the state government against the Trust for failing to adhere to certain conditions on which the Trust was granted the land in 2005 for construction of an educational institution.

While passing the order on Monday, the court said the encroachment of land and construction of a mosque inside the university premises cannot be justified.

Mohd Azam Khan is the president of the trust while his wife Tanzeen Fatima is the secretary and son Abdullah Azam Khan is an active member of the Trust.

Dismissing the petition filed by Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust, Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal said, “It is a case where a large part of land has been purchased as well as certain part of land belonging to tenure holders and gram sabha has been encroached upon by a former cabinet minister of the state for establishing an educational institution pursuant to an Act which has come up in the year 2005.”

The court further added, “In the present case, permission for transfer of land in excess to 12.50 acres was granted solely for establishing an educational institution.

“The establishment of a ‘mosque’ was against the permission granted on November 7, 2005. Thus, the Trust violated the conditions that clearly provided that in case of violation of any of the conditions, land excess of 12.50 acres will vest in the state government after affording opportunity of hearing.”

The petitioner Trust had sought quashing of March 16, 2020 report submitted by sub-divisional magistrate with regard to constructions over the land as well as for quashing the order of January 16, 2021 by the additional district magistrate (administration), Rampur, for vesting of the land in the state.

On argument of the petitioner’s counsel that the mosque was built for staff of the university, the court observed, “The argument that the campus had residential premises for teaching as well as non-teaching staff, a mosque was constructed for them cannot be accepted as it goes against the permission granted by the state.”

In 2005, the state government enacted the Mohammad Ali Jauhar University Act, 2005 paving way for the construction of the university.

Thereafter, the state government granted permission to Maulana Mohammad Ali Jauhar Trust to acquire 400 acres of land against the ceiling of 12.5 acres (5.0586 hectares) for the establishment of the university while imposing certain conditions, one of which was that the land will be used only for educational purposes.

As per law, if such restriction/ condition is violated, the permission granted by the state government stands withdrawn.

(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with a modified headline.)

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