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Delhi HC To Hear Plea Against Offering Prayers Inside Mughal Mosque On Dec 1

The managing committee of Mughal Mosque in Mehrauli, which was appointed by the Delhi Waqf Board, had approached the HC last year alleging that the officials of the ASI completely stopped the offering of namaz in the mosque on May 13.

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The Delhi High Court has advanced the date of hearing to December 1 on a petition against the bar on offering prayers in the Mughal Mosque in the Mehrauli area.

The managing committee of Mughal Mosque, which was appointed by the Delhi Waqf Board, had approached the high court last year alleging that the officials of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) completely stopped the offering of namaz in the mosque on May 13, 2022 in an “absolutely unlawful, arbitrary and precipitous manner”.

Allowing an early hearing application by the petitioner, Justice Prateek Jalan said in a recent order, “List on 01.12.2023. The next date of hearing i.e. 30.01.2024 stands cancelled.”

Advocate for the petitioner M Sufian Siddiqui said the prayers were being offered inside the mosque on a regular basis until last year when they were stopped by the ASI without any notice, reported PTI.

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

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, it said.

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

“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 said. 

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

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