A view of Supreme Court of India. File

A view of Supreme Court of India. File
| Photo Credit: The Hindu

The Supreme Court on April 5 dismissed a plea seeking transportation of the mortal remains of Sufi saint Hazrat Shah Muhammad Abdul Muqtadir Shah Masood Ahmad from Bangladesh to India.

A three-judge Bench headed by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud said there is no constitutionally enforceable right to seek transportation of the Sufi saint’s mortal remains as he was a Pakistani citizen.

“He is a Pakistani citizen, how can you expect the Union of India to bring his burials in India?” the Bench asked. The counsel, appearing for petitioner Dargah Hazrat Mulla Syed, said the saint has no family in Pakistan, whereas, at the dargah in Uttar Pradesh, he was the Sajjada-nasheen (spiritual head).

The lawyer told the top court that the saint was born in Prayagraj, then called Allahabad, and migrated to Pakistan. He got Pakistani citizenship in 1992.

“He was elected as the Sajjada Nasheen of the shrine viz. Dargah Hazrat Mulla Syed Mohammad Shah in 2008 in Prayagraj. He executed his will in 2021 expressing a desire to be buried in the shrine. He died in Dhaka where he was buried. There are difficulties in entertaining such a petition.

“Hazrat Shah was a Pakistani citizen and has no constitutional right… the practical difficulties related to exhumation. As a matter of first principle, it would not be right for this court to direct the transportation of the mortal remains of a citizen of a foreign state in India,” the Bench, also comprising Justices J. B. Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, said.


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