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Sharing of Nazrana offered by pilgrims between Diwans and Khadims of Holi shrine Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer – decree was passed in a civil suit O.S. 9/1929 – At the request of both parties , High court framed some interim guidelines for implementation of Decree by appointing a Nizam with the approval of Durga Committee, pending final adjudication of these cases – Khadims raised objections in respect of some arrangements-Apex court confirmed the High court order the modifications, if any, required can be examined later when the matter is finally adjudicated and dismissed the appeal = Syed Gulzar Hussain & Others .. Petitioners Versus Dewan Syed Ale Rasul Ali Khan & Others .. Respondents= 2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41240

Sharing of Nazrana offered by pilgrims between Diwans and Khadims of Holi shrine Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer – decree was passed in a civil suit O.S. 9/1929 – At the request of both parties, High court framed some  interim guidelines for implementation of Decree by appointing a Nizam with the approval of Durga Committee, pending  final adjudication of these cases – Khadims raised objections in respect of some arrangements-Apex court confirmed the High court order  the modifications, if any, required  can  be examined later when the  matter  is  finally adjudicated and dismissed the appeal =


Noticing the various directions contained in the decree, as  well  as

the judgment of this Court and also  taking  note  of  the  request  of  the

Khadims  themselves,  the  High  Court  thought  of  making  some   suitable

arrangements for the purpose of implementing  the  decree.    

The  following

are the directions given by the High Court:

        i) As regards the adjudication of  the  rights  contained  in  para

           A(ii), it is  directed  that  the  Nazim  on  behalf  of  Durgah

           Committee shall take the custody of the offerings or presents of

           gold or silver vessels or implements or kabarposhes that may  be

           offered by the visitors/pilgrims for the  use  of  Durgah.   The

           Nazim or his representative shall remain present inside the dome

           of the shrine to collect such offerings and presents.   In case,

           the Khadims/judgment debtors receive such offerings or  presents

           from the visitors/pilgrims, they shall deposit the same  in  the

           office of the Nazim at the end of the day.  It  is  needless  to

           say  that  the  office  of  the  Nazim  shall  maintain  regular

           accounts/records of such offerings/presents, and  keep  in  safe

           custody till any decision is taken by the Durgah  Committee  for

           their disposal/use;

       ii) As regards the declaration of rights contained  in  para  A(iii)

           and (iv), it is directed that there shall be kept iron boxes for

           donations, big and sufficient in  number,  at  different  places

           inside and outside the dome of the shrine, more particularly  at

           the  pit  near  the  grave  inside  the  dome,  to  enable   the

           visitors/pilgrims to put their cash/valuable offerings  in  such

           boxes.  Such boxes shall have the locks  and  the  keys  thereof

           would be kept in the custody of the Nazim;

      iii) The Nazim shall hand over all the offerings  deposited  in  such

           boxes kept outside the dome of the  shrine  to  the  Khadims  as

           their perquisites.  However, the offerings of  animals  or  such

           bulky articles made at the steps of the shrine shall be  divided

           by the Nazim between the Dewan and the  Khadim  respectively  in

           equal shares, at the end of the day.  The Nazim in  consultation

           with the Durgah Committee shall make necessary  arrangement  for

           collection of such bulky articles at the gates/entrances of  the

           shrine and Durgah;

       iv) So far as the offerings deposited in  the  donation  boxes  kept

           inside the dome of the shrine are concerned, the Nazim,  at  the

           end  of  the  day,  shall  maintain  accounts  and  divide  such

           offerings between the Dewan  and  the  Khadims  respectively  in

           equal shares, irrespective  of  the  spot  at  which  they  were

           deposited within the dome.  Nazim may distribute such  offerings

           on daily/weekly/ monthly basis after keeping proper accounts, in

           presence of the representatives of the Khadims  and  the  Dewan.

           However, the Nazim shall hand over to the Khadims, the offerings

           of all coins not exceeding two annas in  value  irrespective  of

           whether they are made of copper or any other metal  and  cowries

           and gold or silver articles (other than coins), of a value  less

           than 8 annas and cotton  cloth  of  inferior  quality,  and  all

           offerings made between the hours of 4 A.M. to 4 P.M. on the last

           day of the Urs, as directed  in  the  para  A(iv)  of  the  said

           decree;

        v) It is directed that the Nazim shall  treat  the  cash  or  other

           offerings sent by post as the offerings made at the shrine  i.e.

           within the  dome,  unless  addressed  specially  to  the  Durgah

           Committee, the Dewan or the Khadims for their exclusive use,  as

           directed in Para A(v) of the said decree;

       vi) It is  further  directed  that  the  Khadims,  their  agents  or

           servants shall not cause any obstruction either to the Nazim  or

           his representative, or the judgment creditor, the Dewan  or  his

           representative, or any Member of the Durgah Committee  to  enter

           and sit inside/outside the dome of the shrine or  the  precincts

           of the Durgah, and shall cooperate the Nazim in implementing the

           directions given by this Court;

      vii) The Nazim shall display notice boards in Hindi, English and Urdu

           languages, at all  gates  of  Durgah  and  at  all  visible  and

           conspicuous places inside and outside the dome  of  the  shrine,

           giving   instructions   to   the   visitors/pilgrims   to    put

           cash/valuable offerings in the donation boxes only  and  deposit

           their other offerings like  kabarposhes,  gold/silver  articles,

           implements, animals at the office of Nazim only.

     viii) It is clarified that the Khadims  –  judgment  debtors  and  the

           Dewan – the judgment creditor shall be at liberty to keep  their

           duly authorized representatives, present on their behalf at  the

           time when the donation boxes are opened, and  their  shares  are

           divided by the Nazim.  The Nazim also shall  be  at  liberty  to

           nominate any  other  person  as  his  representative,  with  the

           consultation of the Members of  the  Durgah  Committee  for  the

           purpose of  carrying  out  these  directions,  in  case  of  his

           inability to remain present on any particular day.

       ix) The Nazim shall be at liberty to approach this Court in case  of

           any  difficulty  found  in   implementing   the   above   stated

           directions;

        x) The Nazim shall be also at liberty to take  help  of  the  staff

           members and in case of need, help of police.”


4.     Shri  C.A.  Sundaram,  learned  senior  counsel  appearing  for   the

petitioners, submitted that the petitioners have no serious  objection  with

regard to direction nos. (i), (v) and (vi), but raised some objections  with

regard to direction nos. (ii), (iii), (iv) (vii) and (viii).

A pilgrim may give some amount directly either  to  Dewan

or Khadim for his satisfaction if they are offering a special prayer on  his

behalf, which is  altogether  a  different  aspect.    

Necessity  of  proper

accounting and transparency in the entire functioning of  Durgah  is  highly

necessary in the  larger  public  interest  with  regard  to  entire  amount

received at the Shrine, whether it is inside or outside  the  dome  or  even

the amount directly paid to the Khadims  at  the  Shrine.   Khadims,  it  is

stated, have to share also with the Dewan the amounts they get, hence  there

is a necessity of the intervention of the Durgah Committee  for  the  smooth

and effective functioning of the Shrine,  or  else,  constant  disputes  may

crop up between both the groups, which is not in the best  interest  of  the

Holy Shrine.


9.    In such circumstances, at this stage, we do not propose  to  make  any

modification in the directions already given by the  High  Court.   Let  the

directions given by the  High  Court  be  given  effect  to,  pending  final

adjudication of these cases and the modifications, if any, required  can  be

examined later when the  matter  is  finally  adjudicated.   The  status-quo

order passed by this Court is accordingly vacated.

 

 


2014(Feb.Part) judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41240

               K.S. RADHAKRISHNAN, VIKRAMAJIT SEN                                

NON-REPORTABLE
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 36921 OF 2013

Syed Gulzar Hussain & Others .. Petitioners
Versus
Dewan Syed Ale Rasul Ali Khan & Others .. Respondents
WITH
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO. 36923 OF 2013
AND
SPECIAL LEAVE PETITION (CIVIL) NO.36953 OF 2013

O R D E R

K. S. RADHAKRISHNAN, J.

1. We are, in these cases, primarily concerned with the resolution of a
dispute between the Dewan Sajjadanashin and Khadims of the Holy Shrine of
Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer with regard to the sharing of
Nazrana offered by the pilgrims visiting the Holy Shrine. Petitioners
submit that the High Court, while deciding the above issue, practically
framed a Scheme for the implementation of the final decree dated 3.5.1933
(as amended on 29.1.1940) in Civil Suit No. 9 of 1929 passed by the
Additional District Judge, Ajmer-Merwana, Ajmer which, according to the
petitioners, was not warranted and beyond the scope of the decree.

2. Petitioners, who claim to represent the entire group of Khadims, it
is seen from the order impugned, themselves wanted the Court to make some
suitable and permanent arrangement for the purpose of implementing the
decree. Due to the long standing disputes between these two factions with
regard to sharing of Nazrana, in fact, a proposal was mooted to appoint a
Receiver, which the Executing Court as well as the High Court felt, it
would not be in the best interest of all concerned and thought of making
some interim arrangement with the junction of Durgah Committee, a body
constituted under Section 4 of the Dargah Khwaja Saheb Act, 1955. The
powers and duties of the Durgah Committee have been enunciated in Section
11 of the Act. The functions and duties of Khadims also find a place in
the bye-law no. 13 framed vide notification dated 16.10.1958 by the
Committee in exercise of its powers conferred under Section 20 of the Act.

3. The Durgah of Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chisti, as already indicated,
is a holy Shrine where, every day, a large number of pilgrims/visitors from
the country and outside, visit and offer their prayers and pay donations in
the form of cash, kabarposh, implements, animals etc. at different places
of Durgah for various religious purposes. Every day, certain rituals are
also performed by Khadims within the Dome of the Shrine at the beginning,
to the end and during the course of the day. The decree passed in Civil
Suit No. 9 of 1929 also recognizes the rights of Dewan in respect of
offerings made at the Durgah, the details of which have elaborately been
dealt with in the impugned order itself and hence not repeated. The
history of the Holy Shrine as well as the rights of the Durgah Committee,
Khadims and Dewan have also been dealt with by this Court in Durgah
Committee, Ajmer and Another v. Syed Hussain Ali and Others AIR 1961 SC
1402. Noticing the various directions contained in the decree, as well as
the judgment of this Court and also taking note of the request of the
Khadims themselves, the High Court thought of making some suitable
arrangements for the purpose of implementing the decree. The following
are the directions given by the High Court:
i) As regards the adjudication of the rights contained in para
A(ii), it is directed that the Nazim on behalf of Durgah
Committee shall take the custody of the offerings or presents of
gold or silver vessels or implements or kabarposhes that may be
offered by the visitors/pilgrims for the use of Durgah. The
Nazim or his representative shall remain present inside the dome
of the shrine to collect such offerings and presents. In case,
the Khadims/judgment debtors receive such offerings or presents
from the visitors/pilgrims, they shall deposit the same in the
office of the Nazim at the end of the day. It is needless to
say that the office of the Nazim shall maintain regular
accounts/records of such offerings/presents, and keep in safe
custody till any decision is taken by the Durgah Committee for
their disposal/use;
ii) As regards the declaration of rights contained in para A(iii)
and (iv), it is directed that there shall be kept iron boxes for
donations, big and sufficient in number, at different places
inside and outside the dome of the shrine, more particularly at
the pit near the grave inside the dome, to enable the
visitors/pilgrims to put their cash/valuable offerings in such
boxes. Such boxes shall have the locks and the keys thereof
would be kept in the custody of the Nazim;
iii) The Nazim shall hand over all the offerings deposited in such
boxes kept outside the dome of the shrine to the Khadims as
their perquisites. However, the offerings of animals or such
bulky articles made at the steps of the shrine shall be divided
by the Nazim between the Dewan and the Khadim respectively in
equal shares, at the end of the day. The Nazim in consultation
with the Durgah Committee shall make necessary arrangement for
collection of such bulky articles at the gates/entrances of the
shrine and Durgah;
iv) So far as the offerings deposited in the donation boxes kept
inside the dome of the shrine are concerned, the Nazim, at the
end of the day, shall maintain accounts and divide such
offerings between the Dewan and the Khadims respectively in
equal shares, irrespective of the spot at which they were
deposited within the dome. Nazim may distribute such offerings
on daily/weekly/ monthly basis after keeping proper accounts, in
presence of the representatives of the Khadims and the Dewan.
However, the Nazim shall hand over to the Khadims, the offerings
of all coins not exceeding two annas in value irrespective of
whether they are made of copper or any other metal and cowries
and gold or silver articles (other than coins), of a value less
than 8 annas and cotton cloth of inferior quality, and all
offerings made between the hours of 4 A.M. to 4 P.M. on the last
day of the Urs, as directed in the para A(iv) of the said
decree;
v) It is directed that the Nazim shall treat the cash or other
offerings sent by post as the offerings made at the shrine i.e.
within the dome, unless addressed specially to the Durgah
Committee, the Dewan or the Khadims for their exclusive use, as
directed in Para A(v) of the said decree;
vi) It is further directed that the Khadims, their agents or
servants shall not cause any obstruction either to the Nazim or
his representative, or the judgment creditor, the Dewan or his
representative, or any Member of the Durgah Committee to enter
and sit inside/outside the dome of the shrine or the precincts
of the Durgah, and shall cooperate the Nazim in implementing the
directions given by this Court;
vii) The Nazim shall display notice boards in Hindi, English and Urdu
languages, at all gates of Durgah and at all visible and
conspicuous places inside and outside the dome of the shrine,
giving instructions to the visitors/pilgrims to put
cash/valuable offerings in the donation boxes only and deposit
their other offerings like kabarposhes, gold/silver articles,
implements, animals at the office of Nazim only.
viii) It is clarified that the Khadims – judgment debtors and the
Dewan – the judgment creditor shall be at liberty to keep their
duly authorized representatives, present on their behalf at the
time when the donation boxes are opened, and their shares are
divided by the Nazim. The Nazim also shall be at liberty to
nominate any other person as his representative, with the
consultation of the Members of the Durgah Committee for the
purpose of carrying out these directions, in case of his
inability to remain present on any particular day.
ix) The Nazim shall be at liberty to approach this Court in case of
any difficulty found in implementing the above stated
directions;
x) The Nazim shall be also at liberty to take help of the staff
members and in case of need, help of police.”

4. Shri C.A. Sundaram, learned senior counsel appearing for the
petitioners, submitted that the petitioners have no serious objection with
regard to direction nos. (i), (v) and (vi), but raised some objections with
regard to direction nos. (ii), (iii), (iv) (vii) and (viii).

5. Shri F. S. Nariman, learned senior counsel appearing for the Dewan,
submitted that the direction given by the High Court is an equitable one
taking care of the interest of Khadims as well as Dewan and calls for no
interference at this stage.

6. Shri Guru Krishnakumar, learned senior counsel appearing for the
Durgah Committee, also took the same stand and submitted that the
directions have been issued taking note of the interest of Khadims, Dewan
as well as the overall interest of the pilgrims who visit the Holy Shrine.

7. We are of the view that, in a situation like this, the Court will
have to take note of the overall interests of the Khadims, Dewan and Durgah
Committee, with the pilgrims at its central stage. All the Khadims, Dewan
and Durgah Committee, have got moral and legal obligation to account for
the offerings made at the Holy Shrine, whether it is inside or outside the
dome. The Holy Durgah at Ajmer is one of the most important places of
pilgrimage for the Muslims of India and persons following other religions
also hold the saint in great veneration and a large number of non-Muslims
visit the Durgah every year from the country as well as outside. The main
objection raised by the petitioners is that some of the directions given by
the High Court are not workable in the sense, if the donations due to the
Khadims are put in boxes, then it would not be possible for the Khadims to
find out, to which Khadim the pilgrims have given a particular amount by
way of donation for doing special offerings on their behalf. Further, it
was pointed out that it is a customary practice that the pilgrims directly
handover the amount in the hands of the Khadims, which the Khadims would
share with Dewan, for which, it was stated by the learned senior counsel
appearing for the petitioners, that they will keep separate accounts and,
if necessary, in the presence of the Durgah Committee.

8. We may indicate that a pilgrim who goes to the Durgah and make
donation, may be totally unaware as to how the donation is being divided
between Khadims and Dewan. Normally, a pilgrim who makes an offering or
makes any donation, expects the same to go to the Holy Shrine and its
development and maintenance, not for the individual benefit of either the
Khadim or Dewan. A pilgrim may give some amount directly either to Dewan
or Khadim for his satisfaction if they are offering a special prayer on his
behalf, which is altogether a different aspect. Necessity of proper
accounting and transparency in the entire functioning of Durgah is highly
necessary in the larger public interest with regard to entire amount
received at the Shrine, whether it is inside or outside the dome or even
the amount directly paid to the Khadims at the Shrine. Khadims, it is
stated, have to share also with the Dewan the amounts they get, hence there
is a necessity of the intervention of the Durgah Committee for the smooth
and effective functioning of the Shrine, or else, constant disputes may
crop up between both the groups, which is not in the best interest of the
Holy Shrine.

9. In such circumstances, at this stage, we do not propose to make any
modification in the directions already given by the High Court. Let the
directions given by the High Court be given effect to, pending final
adjudication of these cases and the modifications, if any, required can be
examined later when the matter is finally adjudicated. The status-quo
order passed by this Court is accordingly vacated.
eard Hear…………………………J.
(K. S. Radhakrishnan)
.….……………………J.
(Vikramajit Sen)
New Delhi,
February 20, 2014.

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