CASE TITLE: Sri Bihari Ji Seva Trust vs. State Of U.P. And 4 Others [WRIT – C No. – 27739 of 2022]
DECIDED ON: 17.08.2023
CORAM: Hon’ble Saurabh Srivastava,J.
The Allahabad High Court has ordered the submission of complete revenue records concerning the alteration of ownership status of the land of the Banke Bihari Ji Maharaj temple in Mathura, which has been designated as a ‘graveyard’.
In essence, the petitioner trust approached the court with a claim that parcel number 1081, located in Village Shahpur, Tehsil Chhata, District Mathura, was initially registered in the state’s revenue records under the name of Mandir Banke Bihari Ji Maharaj. However, this registration was altered in the year 2004 to label it as a ‘graveyard’.
Through their written plea, the Petitioner Trust requested the court to issue a mandamus directing the consideration of their application for rectifying the erroneous revenue entry, which had been wrongly recorded as a graveyard instead of Mandir Banke Bihari Ji Maharaj.
It was contended that historically, the said plot had been registered in the name of Banke Bihari Maharaj, but in 1994, an individual named Bhola Khan Pathan colluded with revenue officials to have the land registered as a graveyard.
Upon discovering this information, the temple trust objected to the change. The matter was elevated to the Waqf Board, and a seven-member panel conducted an investigation, confirming that the registration of the land as a graveyard was indeed incorrect. However, despite this confirmation, the name of Banke Bihari Maharaj had not been reinstated on the land. This circumstance led to the filing of the present petition.
CASE ANALYSIS AND DECISION
During the hearing held on August 10, the Court instructed respondent No. 3, who is the tehsildar, to be present in person and provide an explanation regarding the sequence of actions carried out by the Revenue Authorities over time to modify the entries pertaining to the specific plot.
Although a personal affidavit was submitted by respondent No. 3 on August 17, it failed to provide clarity on the process through which the petitioner’s name was initially recorded in the records of rights of the base year, specifically in the year 1359 Fasli, as the holder of the land with transferable rights. This led to various conversions over time and several additional entries being made in the revenue records.
Given this situation, the Court directed the Sub-Divisional Officer to attend the court proceedings with all relevant records on September 5.
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Written by- Mansi Malpani