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Dargah Salim Chisthti opposes ASI issuing licences for ‘spiritual guides’

In a letter to the Director-General (DG) of ASI, it was stated that the Survey cannot grant a licence to anybody without the consent of the Wakf Board, as held by the Supreme Court in 1996.

Dargah Salim ChisthtiNEW DELHI: The Sajjada Nashin (hereditary administrator) and Mutawalli (caretaker) of Dargah Sheikh Salim Chishti in Fatehpur Sikri cautioned the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) against granting licences to certain individuals as ‘Spiritual Guides’ or possible appointments as Muallims (religious guides) for the shrine.

In a letter to the Director-General (DG) of ASI, it was stated that the Survey cannot grant a licence to anybody without the consent of the Wakf Board, as held by the Supreme Court in 1996. The communiqué sent last month after the Allahabad High Court—while dealing with the petition filed by Mohammad Yasin—urged the national watchdog of heritage sites to handle his application to work as a Muallim at the shrine in accordance with the law.

However, the court, in its order, noted that it is doubtful whether the petitioner has a pre-existing statutory or legal right to work as the Muallim.

In the letter, Sajjada Nashin Ayazuddin Chishti claimed the dargah was a private waqf and managed by the hereditary administrator as per various acts, including The Religious Endowments Act, the Mussalman Wakf Validating Act, the UP Wakf Act, and the Wakf Act 1960. The ASI has no right or authority to appoint religious instructors to protect the monument against traditions and religious practices, Chisti wrote.

“Seeking the licence for a spiritual instructor is wholly misconceived…the attempt to enter the dargah in the name of ‘Spiritual guide’ is a fraud on the law that deceives and undermines the legal system and the administration of justice…it is humbly requested that you dismiss the claim of the petitioner,” read the letter. No ASI official could be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Ayazuddin Chishti on Monday appointed his son Arshad Faridi as the successor, Sajjada Nashin. The appointment was made at the historic ‘kacheri’ (court) during the observance of Urs

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