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Maintain status quo at illegal mosque site near Red Fort: SC

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 19:55

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all parties to maintain status quo till Thursday at a park near the Red Fort where an unauthorised mosque was allegedly built by a local MLA and his supporters over the purported ruins of a Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque.

"Till Thursday all parties are directed to maintain status quo on the site in question," a bench headed by Chief Justice Altamas Kabir said.

The bench also comprising justices S S Nijjar and J Chelameswar said it would like to hear the views of all the parties, including the Archaeological Society of India (ASI), the Delhi government and the Centre before going into the details.

"We would like to hear the views of ASI, Delhi government and the Union of India and thereafter, we will go into the details," it said.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by MLA Shoaib Iqbal, who is facing contempt proceedings in the Delhi High Court for trespassing and building mosque on the government land.

He has moved the apex court challenging the high court`s July 30 order directing the ASI and the North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) to demolish the structure.

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

On October 19, the high court had dismissed as infructuous a Delhi police police for modification in the high court`s earlier asking it provide help and security to the ASI and the NDMC in razing the illegal structure.

Following discovery of the remains of purported Mughal era structure, Akbarabadi mosque, on the site near Red Fort during an ongoing work by Delhi Metro, locals led by Iqbal had allegedly begun building a mosque there in July.

People had even gathered there to offer namaj defying the NDMC order, which had banned any religious activity there.

PTI

First Published: Tuesday, October 30, 2012 - 19:55

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