Delhi high court asks DDA to maintain status quo of Mehrauli mosque land | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Delhi high court asks DDA to maintain status quo of Mehrauli mosque land

Feb 05, 2024 02:43 PM IST

The DDA on January 30 razed the 600-year-old Akhoondji Masjid, the Behrul Uloom madrasa and various graves in Mehrauli, claiming the properties as unauthorised constructions

The Delhi high court on Monday directed the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to maintain status quo of the land located in the city’s Mehrauli area, on which the 600-year-old Akhoondji Masjid was demolished, till February 12.

The Delhi high court said that its order would not preclude DDA from acting against other illegal properties in the area. (File)
The Delhi high court said that its order would not preclude DDA from acting against other illegal properties in the area. (File)

A bench of justice Sachin Datta, however, clarified that its order would not preclude the civic authority from acting against other illegal properties in the area.

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The court was considering a plea filed by the Managing Committee of the Delhi Waqf Board seeking status quo of the land where the mosque was situated.

The DDA on January 30 razed the masjid, the Behrul Uloom madrasa, and various graves, claiming the properties as unauthorised constructions.

On January 31, the high court sked DDA to answer if it had given any prior notice before demolishing the mosque. “Let the DDA file its reply within a period of one week clearly setting out the action that has been taken in respect of the property concerned and the basis thereof and as to whether any prior notice was given before taking the demolition action,” the judge said in the order.

On Monday, the Managing Committee appearing through advocate Shams Khwaja submitted that the Religious Committee had no jurisdiction to order any demolition action.

In 2009, the Supreme Court issued orders to demolish/relocate/regulate unauthorised religious structures from all public places and barred any further occupation by such structures. In 2014, Delhi set up a religious committee headed by the home secretary to consider such matters and make recommendations.

Khwaja further argued that the DDA had not only razed the mosque but also excavated the bodies buried in the graveyard and damaged copies of the Quran.

The DDA, appearing through advocate Sanjay Katyal, contended that the demolition was carried out pursuant to the recommendations of the Religious Committee on January 4 adding that the CEO of the Delhi Waqf Board was also afforded an opportunity of hearing before the decision.

Refuting the allegations regarding the damage to the Quran, Katyal submitted that the counsel was trying to give a religious colour to the matter, since the religious books were handled with care and were currently in the custody of the officials.

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