Delhi mosque row: Civic body blames police, ASI seeks more time

Last Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 21:38

New Delhi: Alleging "non co-operation" by police, NDMC on Thursday blamed it for its failure to comply with the Delhi High Court order to remove unauthorised construction allegedly build by an MLA and his supporters near Red Fort where purported ruins of a Mughal-era mosque were found.

Filing an application before a special bench led by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) sought a direction to Centre to provide paramilitary force in case police failed to provide assistance for removal of the structure at a Metro rail project site near Red Fort.

The police, which has been reluctant on the demolition issue on the grounds of apprehension of breach of peace, urged the court to keep its July 30 order on demolition in abeyance till the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) files its final report.

However, the ASI itself sought more time to file its the report, which was to be submitted today, telling the bench that the structure was required to be removed first for it to start the excavation at the disputed site.

The NDMC said police assistance has not been provided to it for compliance of court`s order to demolish the structure.

"It (NDMC) has tried its level best to seek police assistance to take action with an intent to strictly comply with the July 30 order of this court but the police assistance has not yet been provided due to non co-operation of the police authorities," the MCD application said.

Appearing for the NDMC, senior Advocate Chetan Sharma told the bench, also comprising justices Rajiv Shakdher and M L Mehta, that the agency was blamed for non compliance of the court`s order.

Seeking the court to pass an order directing Centre to provide paramilitary force in case police failed to provide assistance for removal of the structure, the lawyer said police had earlier taken the plea that massive police force was deployed for Independence Day celebration and protest by Yoga guru Ramdev but after all the events were over, police was not showing any inclination to provide assistance.

Taking suo motu cognisance over the reported construction of structure in Subhash Park near Red Fort, the bench had asked ASI on July 30 to demolish the structure within 15 days to ascertain if any Mughal-era mosque existed on the site.

The court had also given task to ASI to file a report on the issue after investigation.

Standing Counsel(criminal) Pawan Sharma, appearing for police, submitted that court should keep its July 30 order in abeyance till the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) files its final report.

During the course of hearing today, MLA Iqbal`s counsel M M Kashyap also said the structure was built by the locals but not at his instance and the court should pass any order after ASI`s final report.

Meanwhile, the counsel for ASI sought more time to file
its final report, which was to be submitted today, and told the bench that the structure was required to be removed when it would start the excavation at the disputed site.

The counsel said IIT-Kanpur, which has been asked to carry out a `ground penetrating radar survey` to detect the structure below the surface, has fixed October 20 to conduct the survey and after it completes the work, ASI would file its final report.

Replying to court`s query, ASI made it clear that it faced no difficulty from any quarter so far to carry out the survey.

After hearing arguments of the parties, the bench reserved its order.

The police had earlier moved the court seeking deferment of its order to demolish the mosque on the grounds of apprehension of breach of peace and communal harmony.

Alternatively, it had sought the court`s direction to Iqbal, who had raised the structure, to demolish it, saying "appropriate directions be issued to Shoaib Iqbal, MLA to remove unauthorised construction at the site of Subhash Park under the supervision of ASI."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 21:37

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