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Qutub Minar complex (File Photo/ANI)
Qutub Minar complex (File Photo/ANI)

Restoration of temples in Qutub Minar: ASI opposes Intervention Application moved in Saket Court

ANI | Updated: Aug 24, 2022 18:34 IST

New Delhi [India], August 24 (ANI): The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Wednesday opposed the Intervention Application (IA) moved by one Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Pratap Singh in an appeal, in the Saket Court, which sought worshipping rights for Hindus and Jains inside the Qutub Minar complex.
On the last date of hearing, Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Pratap Singh through Intervention Application claimed to be an heir of the United Provinces of Agra and said that the property of Qutub Minar belongs to him and therefore the minaret along with Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque should be given to him.
The ASI in its fresh affidavit submitted that the applicant claims his right over the mentioned cities in and around Delhi and said that their claim of ownership over these lands is a fact in issue that has not been raised since independence i.e. 1947 before any Court of Law as surmised from the submissions by the applicant.
Moreover, the applicant's claim of ownership and right of prevention of interference in his property has lapsed by the principle of the case for delay and laches, since the time period to file a recovery/possession/injunction against the same, be it of 3 years or 12 years, has already expired by many decades, stated ASI.
During the time of declaring the property in question as a Protected Monument in 1913, the complete procedure was followed and no one came before the authorities to object, and hence counting the period from 1913 to 2022, the period of limitation has already lapsed many times over, the ASI stated in an affidavit.
On Wednesday, Additional District Judge Dinesh Kumar noted that the intervenor counsel was not present in the court and granted the last opportunity to argue on the application and deferred the matter for further hearing on September 13.
Earlier, the Court had clearly said that it will hear the fresh application first.
The main appellant in the matter had claimed that the Quwwat-ul-Islam mosque, which is situated in the Qutub Minar complex, was built after destroying 27 temples.
The appeal suit alleges 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.
Advocate Jain read Section 16 of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains (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."
Earlier, the Archaeological Survey of India opposed the appeal and said Qutub Minar is a monument, 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. The High court of Delhi has clearly mentioned in its order dated January 27, 1999 the ASI said.
The suit was filed on behalf of a Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, and sought 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 very same 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 Quwwat-ul Mosque Complex, Mehrauli, SouthWest 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 arrangements 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. (ANI)