Wakf board moves SC, lays claim to 602 acres in Yelahanka

A group occupying over 600 acres of land in northern Bengaluru has contended before the Supreme Court that their entitlement cannot be questioned by the Karnataka State Board of Wakfs as they remained over the land for decades.

The lands were granted as 'inam' over 50 years ago and the wakf board now cannot question it, they  submitted before a bench of Justices S A Bobde and L Nageswara Rao.  Senior advocate R Basanth,  advocates S N Bhat and Nishanth Patil submitted that the question is whether the land is inam or wakf land.

The wakf board, represented by senior advocate S Guru Krishna Kumar, has filed a special leave petition against the high court's judgement of  November 5, 2012.  

The bench has put the matter for consideration on March 19.

The petitioners sought a declaration that the Mysore (Religious and Charitable) Inams Abolition Act, 1955, would not apply to wakf lands, more particularly to the lands in question  -  the entire village of Bellahalli in Yelahanka hobli, Bengaluru North taluk, comprising 602 acres and 29 guntas of land which are wakf properties.

They claimed that Tipu Sultan had granted the land for meeting the expenses of the annual 'Urs' and other rituals of the 17th-century Muslim saint Hazrat Manik Shah. But with the passage of the 1955 Act, the lands were vested with the state but the records were never set right.

The high court, however, dismissed their plea, holding that the lands in question vested with the government free from encumbrances. But since the petitioners remained silent spectators all these years and in the last 50 years, tenants cultivating the land got mutation entries in their favours and some sold it to the third parties who further developed the property, there is no merit in the plea by the wakf board, the high court said.  

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