The Supreme Court on Friday (December 4) dismissed a plea, praying for the appointment of central and state government representatives to the ‘Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation’ trust, set up by the Sunni Waqf Board, to build a mosque in Ayodhya.
The matter came up for hearing before a bench headed by Justice RF Nariman. The court rejected the plea, filed by two lawyers, which said that apart from private individuals and members of the state Sunni Board, central and state government representatives should be nominated to the trust, which was cited as “essential” to ensure proper management of funds.
The plea stated that on July 29, 2020, the Sunni Waqf Board declared creating a trust under the title of ‘Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation’ for building a mosque, cultural, and research centre and public utility facilities, including a community kitchen, a hospital, and a library within 5 acres land allotted to it.
The plea, however, contented there was no provision for nominating any officer of the government, like the trust created by the central government.
The plea said that since hundreds of people are expected to visit the ‘Islamic Trust’ site, it will receive contributions from within India and from foreign countries, and therefore there should be proper management of funds and the property vested in the trust.
“It is in public interest that the central government and the state government may have all relevant information about the working of the trust to maintain public order and to ensure that no malpractices take place and the funds are not misutilised or misappropriated by any trust,” the plea said.
“Issue direction in the nature of mandamus directing the central government to create a trust making provision for representation of the nominees of the central and state government belonging to Sunni Muslims in Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation Trust which may carry out construction work and manage the affairs over 5 acres land allotted in Dhannipur village, district ayodhya, UP to Sunni Central Waqf Board,” the plea added.
The Supreme Court on November 9, 2019, ordered for the construction of a Ram Temple by a trust at the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid site at Ayodhya. The court directed the Centre to allot an alternative five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a new mosque at a “prominent” place in Ayodhya.
The Babri Masjid was demolished in December 1992 by “kar sevaks”, who claimed that the mosque in Ayodhya was built on the site of an ancient Ram temple.