Monday, August 8, 2022

Mughal mosque is “protected monument,” Centre says Delhi High Court

The Central Government informed the Delhi High Court on Monday that the Mughal mosque in the Qutub Minar complex is a protected monument.

The court was hearing a petition contesting the Archaeological Survey of India’s purported halting of prayers at a mosque in south Delhi. Central Government Standing Counsel (CGSC) Kirtiman Singh informed Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri that the Mughal Mosque is a protected monument and that a lawsuit relating to the subject is pending before the Saket District Court.

Kirtiman Singh requested directions on how to respond to the petition. The seat allowed time for instructions. The case has been scheduled for a hearing on September 12, 2022.

Advocate M Sufian Siddiqui opposed to the CGSC’s submissions. He stated that the notice does not apply to the Mughal Mosque. The namaz does not end there. He wanted an earlier date because the mosque was closed on May 13 of this year.

The bench also gave time to take directions on the final date of the hearing.

This case concerns a mosque located within the ‘Qutub Complex.’ It is, however, outside the ‘Qutab Enclosure.’

The mosque’s name is ‘Mughal Mosque,’ not the contested ‘Quwattul Islam Mosque.’ According to the petition, it is a properly Gazette Notified Waqf property with a notice dated April 16, 1970, and there is a duly appointed Imam and Moazin.

The petitioner’s lawyer, M Sufian Siddiqui, told the court that Namaz was frequently held at the mosque and that it had never been shuttered for prayer.

He said that ASI authorities interrupted the Namaz on May 13, 2022 in a totally illegal, arbitrary, and abrupt way, without serving any ‘Notice or Order,’ etc.

It was also suggested that the Fundamental Rights of the worshipers be infringed on a regular basis, and that this subject be scheduled for an urgent hearing to guarantee that the supremacy of the “Rule of Law” be kept and upheld.

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