HC to hear plea against not allowing prayers in Delhi’s Mughal Mosque on Dec 1

Jamail Kamali Mosque in Mehrauli, New Delhi.

New Delhi: The managing committee of Mughal Mosque, which was appointed by the Delhi Waqf Board, told the high court that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has completely stopped the offering of namaz in the mosque on May 13, 2022, PTI reported.

The committee termed the ban an “absolutely unlawful, arbitrary and precipitous”.

Allowing an early hearing application by the petitioner, Justice Prateek Jalan said in a recent order, “List on 1, 12, 2023. The next date of hearing is 30, 1, 2024 stands cancelled.”

Advocate for the petitioner M Sufian Siddiqui said the prayers were being offered inside the mosque regularly until last year when they were stopped by the ASI without any notice, the news agency reported.

Recently, the court had asked the ASI to clarify its policy on allowing prayers by devotees in religious places located inside protected monuments.

In its reply to the petition, the ASI has said that the mosque in question comes within the boundary of Qutub Minar and is thus within the protected area and offering of prayers cannot be permitted there.

The ASI has cautioned that allowing worship in Mughal Mosque would “not only set an example but it may also impact other monuments too”.

“Qutub Minar is a Monument of National Importance and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is submitted that it is not a place of worship, since the time of its protection the monument or any part of it, has not been used for any type of worship by any community.

“It is submitted that the Mosque in question comes within the boundary of Qutub Minar Complex,” the reply has added.

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