In the eyes of the court, Sayyed Waseem-ur-Rehman Shah is a deported Pakistani national who somehow made his way back to India, and has been living in Bhandup since, embroiled in a wakf land dispute. For hundreds of his disciples however, he is a spiritual leader of their dargah, the Gaddinasheen who occupies the Masnat or spiritual throne. This fact was plain for all to see yesterday, when the Bombay High Court came down heavily on Shah and his lawyers for bringing droves of his loyal spiritual disciples with them to court for a hearing.
The court admonished Shah and his lawyers for overcrowding the court premises and inconveniencing other lawyers and litigants by causing chaos. The court also came down hard on the police for dragging their feet in the investigations.
Speaking to Shah’s lawyer S K Halwasia, Justice Oka said, “We are not bothered whether you bring 100 people or 1,000… it is your duty as an advocate to ensure other members of the bar are not inconvenienced. Now we’ve had to hear the matter out of turn to disperse the crowd. We’ve been told it is inconveniencing the function of this court and other courts outside… we had to call the police as well.”
In its order, the court noted, “Citizens came in large numbers to court and obstructed the hearing of the court. We learnt that they are disciples of Shah. Members of the bar ought to inform their clients not to bring large numbers of people and inconvenience other members of the bar.”
Halwasia later apologised to the court and said they had only come to court to accompany their saint.
MiD DAY had exposed on October 2 how Shah, alias Jugnumiya, had been living in Bhandup, even though a court order had deported him back to Pakistan in 2007 (‘Deported in 2007, Pak national in wakf land dispute’). Not only has this Pakistani national been living with impunity in India, he has also been zipping about the streets in a VIP car, and has also been caught on tape hobnobbing with a politician.
The court noted that though a complaint against Shah had been registered with the magistrate as far back as July 23, an order issued by the magistrate directing police to investigate the case was only followed three months later. The local police only registered an FIR in the case after the high court’s order was issued on October 9.
The high court noted there was ‘gross delay’ in following the orders of the magistrate.
The court order also observed that the police’s affidavit did not deal with the court’s earlier order, in which it had asked the prosecution whether the registration of an FIR against a foreign national had been communicated to the Union of India.
“There is default on part of the prosecution,” the court observed. Speaking to MiD DAY, Shah said, “I have now applied for Indian citizenship, and my request is pending. I leave everything up to God.”
VIP car not Shah’s: Cops
As per an affidavit by senior inspector Shrirang Nadgauda of the Bhandup police station, the VIP car that Shah has been seen using belongs to Mohammed Umar Prakash Aasar, chief coordinator of the Fakruddin Ali Ahmad Memorial Committee of India, a government-aided institution.
Shah’s lawyer Halwasia told the court, “If a minister comes to me with his problems, I cannot refuse to sit in his car just because it has a red beacon. My client is prepared to sit in a taxi or on a bicycle, if necessary.”
The court has now given the prosecution additional time to file a more detailed affidavit and adjourned the case for a December hearing.