Supreme Court rules in favour of Telangana govt in Manikonda land case

Hyderabad: In a long drawn case between the Telangana government and the Waqf board regarding the Manikonda Jagir, the Supreme Court on Monday ruled in favour of the state.

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The bench comprising of Justices Hemant Gupta and V. Ramasubramanian held that the 1,654 acres of land vested with the state government and was as such free from any encumberance. The judgement worked in the state’s favour as they would have had to pay Rs 50,000 crore as compensation to the Waqf board otherwise.

Enumerating on their judgement the bench observed that “Land dedicated for pious and religious purpose is not immune from its vesting with the State.”

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Further, the court directed the state to pay 90% of the gross basic sum referred to in Section 4 of the Commutation Regulation to the dargah as per Section 10(2)(i) of the Commutation Regulation. The court observed that arrears should be calculated and paid by the state within six months.

The Waqf board found itself in this battle as they were supporting the Manikonda dargah which laid claim to the land. This was opposed by the state and its allottees such as Lanco Hills, Emaar properties, Indian School of Business.

Background of the case:

In 2006, before the bifurcation of the two Telugu states, the Waqf board issued an errant notification declaring that the 1654 acres of land were Waqf property. The notification was challenged by the then Andhra Pradesh (now Telangana) government.

The state decided to file a writ petition in the high court. But the case was dismissed. The state then approached the Apex court to address the matter.

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