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Published in the 16-28 Feb 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Waqf Board wins Windsor manor case 

The Milli Gazette Online

Bangalore: The Supreme Court dismissed five star hotel, Windsor Manor’s, Bangalore, appeal on January 7 in favour of the Waqf Board. Karnataka Auqaf minister Merajuddin Patel said that with the end of long pending case the Waqf Board has now the option of either getting the hotel vacated under PP Act or entering into a new agreement with new terms and conditions through mutual understanding with the hotel. 

The Karnatak State Waqf Board, after the expiry of 30-year lease agreement, had given a notice to ITC group on 14 October 2003. ITC group on its part had filed an appeal against this notice in the Supreme Court which the court dismissed on January 7 this year. The hotel was paying a monthly rent of Rs 5600 to the Waqf Board for a large space of 1,65,762 sq ft. The Waqf Board and ITC group held several meetings to discuss increase in rent but they did not reach a consensus. 

Agha Ali Askar Waqf was set up in 1880 under the provisions of a Bill. According to the Bill, the income accrued from this property was to be spent on the heirs of the founder of the Waqf and some other heads. This property of Ali Askar Waqf was notified on 7 June 1965 as a Shia Waqf in the Waqf Gazette. The mutawalli of the Waqf asked permission under clause 36A of Waqf Board to give this place on lease to Monark group. The Waqf Board agreed to give it on lease on 15 October 1973 for 30 years. Monark group gave the place to Vishwa Rama Hotel Ltd on lease on 13 September 1974 without the Waqf Board’s permission and fraudulently added 20 more years in the lease agreement between the two parties. 

The proceedings remained suspended for one year because the Waqf Board had not been constituted. After appointment of Zameer Ahmad, an IAS officer as the Board administrator by the government, the case was reopened.
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