Delhi court defers order on appeal to restore temples in Qutub Minar complex

New Delhi [India], June 9 (ANI): The Saket Court on Thursday defers its pronouncement of order on appeals seeking worshipping rights for Hindus and Jains inside the Qutub Minar complex.

The court deferred the matter for August 24, after noting that a fresh application has been filed in the case. Earlier the Court had fixed June 9, 2022, for pronouncement of order while Kelly the order reserved on an appeal regarding the restoration of 27 Hindu and Jain temples in the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli.

The Additional District Judge Dinesh Kumar on Thursday said it will hear/decide on the fresh application first. Court noted that an impleadment application has been moved by Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Pratap Singh claiming to be an heir of United Provinces of Agra and said the property of Qutub Minar belongs to him therefore the minaret along with Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque should be given to him. Advocate ML Sharma appeared for him.

Counsels for both Archaeological Survey of India and Plaintiffs submit that they are opposing the impleadment application.

The main appellant in the matter had claimed that the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, which is situated Qutub Minar complex, was built after destroying 27 temples.

Appeal suit alleging that the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid situated within the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex.

Advocate Vishnu Jain appearing for the petitioner (Appellant) apprised the court that Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid situated within the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex. Adv Jain reads Section 16 of the AMASR Act 1958, "A protected monument maintained by the Central Government under this Act which is a place of worship or shrine shall not be used for any purpose inconsistent with its character."

Petitioner said once a deity always a deity and it has its dignity forever. It is the determination of character, submitted Adv Vishnu.

Meanwhile, counsel appearing for the Archaeological Survey of India opposed the appeal and said Qutub Minar is a monument, and no one can claim a fundamental right over such a structure. As per the Ancient Monuments Act, the Qutub Minar Complex is a monument and no right to worship can be granted at this place.

There is no provision under AMASR Act 1958 under which worship can be started at any living monument. High court of Delhi has clearly mentioned in its order dated 27/01/1999, stated ASI.

The suit was filed on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Hindu deity Lord Vishnu (through their next of friends), seeking restoration of the alleged temple complex, comprising as many as 27 temples.

"The suit was filed to preserve and protect the religious and cultural heritage of India and to exercise the right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution of India by restoring 27 Hindu and Jain temples with respective deities which were dismantled, desecrated and damaged under the command and orders of Qutub-Din-Aibak, a commander of invader Mohammad Ghori, who established slave dynasty and raised some construction at the same very place of temples naming it as, Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque," the suit said.

The plea claimed that according to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) 27 Hindu and Jain temples were demolished and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex reusing the materials and seeking to "restore" the demolished temples.

The suit sought to declare that Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, Lord Sun, Goddess Gauri, Lord Hanuman, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishab Dev have the right to be "restored" within the temple complex at the site of Quwwatul Mosque Complex, Mehrauli, south-west Delhi "after rebuilding it with the same honour and dignity".

It also sought to issue an injunction directing the Central government to create a trust, according to the Trust Act 1882, and hand over the management and administration of the temple complex situated within the area of Qutub Complex in Mehrauli after framing a scheme of the administration to such trust.

"Pass a decree in the nature of a permanent injunction, restraining the defendants permanently from interfering in making necessary repair works, raising construction and making arrangement for the pooja, darshan, and worship of deities in accordance with Sections 16 and 19 of 'The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958' by a trust, to be created by the Central government within the area," the suit said.