Section 83(9) of the Wakf Act, 1995, provides that no appeal shall lie against any decision or order whether interim or otherwise, passed by the Tribunal established under the Act. However, in terms of proviso to Sub-Section (9) of Section 83 of the Act, any person aggrieved by the orders of the Wakf Tribunal can invoke the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. This was held by the Himachal Pradesh high court recently in the case of Mumtaz Ahmad v. State of H.P., decided on 16 November 2016. The order was passed by a division bench of the high court comprising Chief Justice Mansoor Ahmad Mir and Justice Sandeep Sharma.
The high court referred to sub-sections (7) and (9) of Section 83 of the Wakf Act, which are reproduced below:
“(7) The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding upon the parties to the application and it shall have the force of a decree made by a civil court.
“(9) No appeal shall lie against any decision or order whether interim or otherwise, given or made by the Tribunal:
Provided that a High Court may, on its own motion or on the application of the Board or any person aggrieved, call for and examine the records relating to any dispute, question or other matter which has been determined by the Tribunal for the purpose of satisfying itself as to the correctness, legality or propriety of such determination and may confirm, reverse or modify such determination or pass such other order as it may think fit.”
Thus, the high court held that Sub Section 9 of Section 83 of the Act provides that no appeal shall lie against any decision or order whether interim or otherwise, passed by the Tribunal established under the Act. Still, it is astonishing that Writ Petitions and Regular First Appeals are being preferred by the aggrieved parties before the High Court challenging the decisions rendered by the Tribunals constituted under the Act. The court said that it was also not understandable how such appeals or writ petitions were being entertained once there is specific bar in terms of Section 83(9) of the Act that no appeal will lie against the order of the Tribunal.
However, the court clarified that in terms of proviso to Sub Section (9) of Section 83 of the Wakf Act, any person aggrieved by the orders of the Wakf Tribunals can invoke the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court. Thus, remedy is provided to the aggrieved person by way of filing revision petition and not by the medium of appeal.
The Court ordered as above while considering a bunch of petitions in this regard.
The Court also observed it is settled law that suit for eviction from wakf property is triable by a civil court and not by the Wakf Tribunal since the Act does not provide determination of dispute of eviction by the Tribunal.