Referred Sunehri Bagh matter to heritage panel: Police to Delhi HC | Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times
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Referred Sunehri Bagh matter to heritage panel: Police to Delhi HC

Feb 29, 2024 05:34 AM IST

Delhi Traffic Police refers the 150-year-old Sunehri Bagh mosque demolition matter to heritage committee amid court petition challenging the move.

The Delhi Traffic Police on Wednesday informed the Delhi high court that the matter regarding the demolition of the 150-year-old Sunehri Bagh mosque has been referred to the heritage conservation committee (HCC) of the ministry of urban development.

NDMC in December had assured that no action will be taken until a final call is taken by HCC. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
NDMC in December had assured that no action will be taken until a final call is taken by HCC. (Raj K Raj/HT Photo)

On December 24, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) published a public notice in various newspapers seeking opinions on the demolition of the historical mosque — near Udyog Bhawan Metro station, at the intersection of Maulana Azad Road, Motilal Nehru Marg and Kamaraj Road — to ease alleged traffic congestion in the area. The notice was published days after the high court closed a Delhi Waqf Board (DWB) plea, seeking to restrain NDMC from demolishing or razing portions of the heritage structure.

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In the present case, the court was considering a petition filed by Abdul Aziz, the mosque’s imam, who challenged the notice, claiming that it was issued with malafide intention without any application of mind and that the structure was being targeted without any research, data, statistics, demonstration to show that there was any traffic congestion due to its existence.

Appearing for the traffic police on Wednesday, senior advocate Sanjay Jain submitted that the plea challenging the NDMC notice had worked itself out, since the matter was referred to HCC, pursuant to consideration of opinion from the public.

“The petition was filed on the advertisement and in terms of the advertisement, all the objections have been invited and the matter is now being referred to the concerned competent committee. That committee has to make a decision. The petition has worked itself out, there is nothing which remains in this. We cannot prejudge or anticipate as to what the HCC will decide. If it’s not a PIL, then this person has to have a locus,” Jain submitted before a bench of justice Sachin Datta.

Aziz and DWB, appearing through advocate Viraj Datar and senior advocate Sanjoy Ghose, submitted that the notice was challenged on the ground of competence, and added that the same could not have been issued under the provisions of law. “It’s not the case that it’s infructuous. Notice could not have been issued under the provisions of law,” Datar said.

To be sure, NDMC in December, through advocate Shriharsha Peechara, had assured that no action will be taken until a final call is taken by HCC. “The decision has to be taken by the HCC, not by us… I can’t even touch a brick without HCCs permission,” Peechara had submitted before the bench.

Earlier this month, the high court had refused to entertain a plea filed by the Waqf Welfare Forum, seeking a similar relief of quashing the NDMC notice.

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