The Division Bench of Chief Justice DB Bhonsle and Justice MK Gupta of Allahabad High Court ordered to shift a masjid located in the court premises within three months and hand over the land to the court authorities.

The bench was responding to PIL filed by a high court lawyer, Abhishek Shukla. The order stated that if the high court is not handed over the land within the stipulated time, the Allahabad District Magistrate, SSP and Allahabad Development Authority “shall take forcible possession of the entire site in dispute from the Sunni Waqf Board or anyone….and for such purpose it shall be open to them to seek police assistance or any other help as may be required for complying this order”.

The court further directed that the registrar general shall ensure that in future no part of the high court premises, either at Allahabad or at Lucknow, is permitted to be used for practicing religion or offering prayers or to worship or to carry on any religious activity by any group of persons.

The court, however, ordered that if the waqf, looking after the management of the mosque, moves an application to the state district administration within four weeks from Wednesday seeking allotment of an alternative site, the state district administration would deal with it sympathetically in accordance with law within eight weeks from the date it is filed.

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