Leading legal luminary Prof. Faizan Mustafa discusses about the demolition of a mosque in Barabanki, Uttar Pradesh case in his new video on his YouTube’s legal awareness channel. Making a mockery of urgency of making decisions amid the present crisis, he says at a time when the second wave of Coronavirus was at peak with shortage of oxygen plaguing the country and when the dead bodies were floating in Ganga river, Barabanki SDM (Sub District Magistrate) had a problem with the prayer call (azaan) and used its power under Section 133 CRPC to pass the order of demolition.
Now, taking note of the issue, the Allahabad court observed that the mosque was 100 years old. Comparing this demolition with that of the Babri Masjid, he adds that the writ petition was being filed against the destruction but does not know what will happen of it.
Reading out the Allahabad court order, he said that it is the power of the judicial magistrate to look into the masjid issue.
Stressing the point that SDM had problem with azaan, he says that even Sonu Nigam has a problem with it, but when the chief justice, who is more powerful lives in a house near the masjid and does not make fuss then why is that the SDM has problem and was in urgency to demolish it. Moreover, he says SDM wrongly used his powers making noise over the issue.
He believes that whenever the Allahabad court judgement comes on constitutionality of the demolition order, it will have scope on the powers of SDM and also wide implications. If at all it is found to be illegal then it should be dealt within rule of law.
He ends the discussion questioning: Can SDM arbitrarily demolish the religious places. If the Wakf board has erected the building illegally then it should have proceeded against the Wakf board and would have asked it to cancel the registration but taking law in hand is not good for people and also for the SDM.