The suite had claimed that Quwwatul Islam Masjid was constructed after demolishing Jain and Hindu temples
Zafar Aafaq | Clarion India
NEW DELHI — A Delhi court on Monday dismissed a civil suite filed by a group of Hindus making claim on the Quwwatul Islam Masjid in Qutub Minar Complex demanding that the mosque be handed over to the group and idol worship is allowed there.
The suite claimed that it was constructed after demolishing Jain and Hindu temples by Muslim ruler Mohammad of Gaur. Judge Neha Sharma at the Saket Court rejected the demands in the civil suit filed by three people including Hari Shankar Jain, Ranjana Agnihotri and Jitendra Singh ‘Vishen’ with Jain diety Lord Rishab Dev and Hindu deity Lord Vishnu as representatives versus Union of India through Secretary, Ministry of Culture; and Archaeological Survey of India.
Legal Action for Justice Trust, which opposed the claims of the plaintiff, also sought to be made a respondent in the suit. It argued that the petitioner has no locus standi and cause of action to file the suit and that the suite is not maintainable under Ancient Monument Act or places of worship Act 1991.
Advocate Mohammad Anwar Siddiqui, Secretary, Legal Action for Justice Trust, said his side argued that the Qutub Minar and its entire complex was declared a protected monument by the Government of India on 16 January 1914 by publishing a government gazette. “At that time (but also from 700-800 years before that) there was no religious worship / worship by the followers of any religion in this building. No person has filed any suit till the year 1914 or three years after that for quashing the notification of declaration of a building as protected under the Act of 1904 or restoring his right to worship,” he said.
According to Siddiqui, the trust further told the court that after about 106 years of the notification, the demand to get the right to worship was “unreasonable and illegal”.
The court was also informed that there is no evidence of a temple in the complex before or after the construction of Qutub Minar.
“The Places of Worship Act 1991 also does not allow any case to be tried on such an issue and provides that the situation as it was on 15th August 1947 will continue and no suit can be initiated to change it,” Siddiqui said.