New Delhi [India], March 14 (ANI): The Delhi High court on Monday asked the Waqf Board and others to file an application before the Station House Officer (SHO) at Hazrat Nizamuddin police station for the opening of Masjid Bangle Wale at the Markaz premises.
The matter has been listed for hearing on March 16.
Justice Manoj Kumari Ohri has asked the applicants to move an application for the opening of three other floors of Masjid Bangle Wali as he will proceed with the matter according to the law.
Justice Ohri was assured by the Central government's counsel that an application will be considered as per law.
The parties will apprise the court on the next date of hearing about the outcome of the application, according to which the court will pass an order.
Advocate Rajat Nair, the counsel for the Central government, submitted that he has no objection to what was allowed in the previous order of April 2021.
"It was allowed to offer namaz on the first floor with 50 per cent capacity. This time the number can be increased," he said.
The counsel for the Centre referred to the affidavit filed in the Supreme Court where he submitted that foreigners were involved in this case, as their visas were cancelled and restrictions were imposed.
Earlier, he had submitted that the offering of namaz by five people were allowed and can be continued for this year also during religious festivals.
The court had asked Nair why was the permission limited to only religious days and not for all days, "if there is a clear demarcation of the masjid and there is no restriction on the number of people by Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA)."
"Why only the first floor if there are 4 floors in the Majid? Come with clear instructions," Justice Ohri asked.
The counsel for the applicant/petitioner Delhi Waqf Board placed on the record the order of February 26, 2022, issued by DDMA withdrawing all the COVID-19 restrictions.
Advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, counsel for the applicant, argued that the Markaz premises should be reopened according to the recent order issued by DDMA. "What DDMA has said about other religious places will govern this place also. It has been lying closed since 2020," he said.
He had submitted that there was a joint inspection pursuant to this court order in which the entire premises was demarcated as a residential complex, Masjid Bangle Wali and Hostel.
Shafiq also submitted that there are seven floors in the masjid and it is difficult for him to understand why the Central government wants to put all the devotees only on the first floor. Why these restrictions are imposed on the religious place in the national capital.
Senior Advocate Rebecca John, appearing for Management Committee, argued that there is no reason why there should be a restriction on the opening of the premises.
Advocate Nair submitted that the Markaz was closed pursuant to FIR and it is a case property. "There are 1,500 FIRs. Besides, it is not clear who is the rightful owner of the premises. The locus of the claimant is to be decided," he said.
Delhi Waqf Board to place on record the recent order of DDMA on the application seeking reopening of Markaz premises at Nizamuddin. Board has approached the High Court seeking to reopen Markaz in view of Shab e Barat and the coming month of Ramzan.
The counsel for the applicant submitted that the people in limited number were allowed during the first phase of the pandemic. At the time they were preventing the large gathering and other activities. Now the DDMA has withdrawn all the restrictions through its order of 26 February 2022.
Petitioner Delhi Waqf Board, through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, has sought to reassess the necessity of keeping the waqf premises, situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, under their locks.
The petition said that the respondents have put the waqf premises Masjid Bangley Wali, Madarsa Kashif-Ul-Uloom and the attached hostel situated as Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi under their locks since March 31, 2020. (ANI)