Delhi HC declines urgent listing of plea against 'bar' on namaz at mosque in Qutub complex
The Delhi high court on Friday declined the urgent listing of a plea that sought to lift “a bar” on offering namaz at the mosque in the Qutub Minar complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site monument, in south Delhi’s Mehrauli area.
The mosque, located at the entrance of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)-protected complex, is locally known as Mughal Mosque, even though most monuments in the complex were built by the first kings of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mamluk (or Slave) dynasty.
The matter was urgently mentioned before a bench of acting chief justice Vipin Sanghi and justice Sachin Datta, by a counsel Alya Veronica, who contended that the mosque is a living mosque and a gazetted waqf property.
She said people were regularly offering namaz at the mosque, however, suddenly on May 15, namaz was stopped and Muslims are not being allowed to pray there despite no formal order or direction being issued.
However, the court declined to list it for Friday or the vacation and said, “ File it, we are not going to list it today (Friday). For vacations, you mention before the concerned registrar.”
The mosque comprises a prayer hall, with three compartments, each covered by a bulbous dome and is guarded by a short stonewall, with huge windows.
The latest development comes at a time when a Delhi court is set to decide on restoring the right to worship at the Qutub Minar complex to Hindus and Jains.
The court will pronounce its order on June 9 on the pleas filed on behalf of Jain god Tirthankara Rishabh Dev and Hindu god Vishnu by advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Ranjana Agnihotri.
The petition cites a short history purportedly displayed by ASI, which narrates how 27 temples were demolished by Qutubuddin Aibak, a general in Mohamad Ghori’s army and the first ruler of the Malmuk dynasty, and the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque (inside the complex) was raised by reusing the material.
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