Adverse possession and Mahomedan law

Muslim Law

Under the Mahomedan law applicable in India, title to a mosque can be lost by adverse possession. If that is the position in law, there can be no reason to hold that mosque has a unique or special status, higher than that of the places of worship of other religions in secular India to make it immune from acquisition by exercise of the sovereign or prerogative power of the State. A mosque is not an essential part of the practice of the religion of Islam and Namaz (prayer) by Muslims can be offered anywhere, even in open. Accordingly, its acquisition is not prohibited by the provisions in the constitution of India. Irrespective of the status of a mosque in an Islamic country for the purpose of immunity from acquisition by the purpose of immunity from acquisition by the State in exercise of the sovereign power, its status and immunity from acquisition in the secular ethos of India under the Constitution is the same and equal to that of the places of worship of the other religions, namely, church, temple, etc. It is neither more nor less than that of the places of worship of the other religions. Obviously, the acquisition of any religious place is to be made only in unusual and extraordinary situations for a larger national purpose keeping in view that such acquisition should not result in extinction of the right to practice the religion, if the significance of that place be such. subject to this condition, the power of acquisition is available for a mosque like any other place of worship of any religion. The right to worship is not at any and every place, so long as it can be practised effectively, unless the right to worship at a particular place is itself an integral part of that right.[SUPREME COURT OF INDIA in Dr. M. Ismail Faruqui Versus Union of India and others Before: M. N. Venkatachaliah, C.J.I., A. M. Ahmadi, J. S. Verma, G. N. Ray And S. P. Bharucha, JJ.]