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Someone bent upon that I don't argue Maharashtra Wakf Board case, AG writes to SC

IANS | August 09, 2022 05:07 PM

NEW DELHI: The controversy around a case relating to the Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs refuses to die down, as Attorney General K.K. Venugopal has written a second letter to the Supreme Court claiming that somebody is bent upon ensuring that he does not argue the case.

He has also sought adjournment in the case till the time he recovers from the after-effects of Covid-19.

The AG's letter dated August 8, written to the Secretary General of the apex court, said: "Looking at the entirety of what has emerged, it seems that whoever is behind the events that have transpired, whether it is the beneficiaries of the transfer or anyone else, is bent upon ensuring that the Attorney General does not argue this case."

"It is requested that this letter may be placed before the Chief Justice of India, so that the present batch of cases could be adjourned till I recover my health and am able to appear in this matter."

The matter involves the question, whether every charitable trust created by a Muslim person becomes Wakf property. The case is listed before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana for Wednesday.

On August 1, the AG had written a letter to the Supreme Court to take strong exception to the action taken by the Wakf Board.

"All this interference with counsel who are to represent parties being removed at the last minute is serious, uncalled for, and unwarranted attempt to interfere in the due administration of justice by removing counsel representing the parties. This clearly is an act of contempt of court, " said the AG, in his letter to the Registrar (Judicial).

On August 2, a bench, headed by Chief Justice Ramana, expressed discontent with Maharashtra Wakf Board for attempting to replace the Attorney General, as counsel in the case, in the middle of hearing on an important question - whether all land donated by Muslims for charitable work would come under Wakf.

The Chief Justice said: "This is not correct... is this the way to treat the AG."

Venugopal, who appeared virtually, said "yesterday there was a letter that I am not representing (the Wakf Board)... So far this has never happened".

The Chief Justice added: "This is not the way in which you have to behave with the AG."

The AG urged the top court to take the letter on board so that necessary action can be taken.

The Bombay High Court had quashed a Maharashtra government circular constituting the Wakf Board as well as a notification of properties falling under Wakf. The Maharashtra State Board of Wakfs moved the Supreme Court challenging the high court order.

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