No Akbarabadi Mosque ever existed, apex court told

SC told that no structure called Akbarabadi Mosque existed at any point in time in Subhash Park near the historic Jama Masjid.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court was Tuesday told that no structure called Akbarabadi Mosque existed at any point in time in Subhash Park near the historic Jama Masjid here and it was only the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) which could undertake any work at the site.

"There is no evidence of the existence of Akbarabdi Mosque," amicus curiae Ram Jethmalani told a bench of Chief Justice Altamas Kabir, Justice Anil R. Dave and Justice Vikramajit Sen.

Jethmalani, who has been appointed amicus curiae by the court to appear for respondent Sri Sri Sai Baba Om Ji, made the contention to the bench hearing a petition of Delhi legislator Shoaib Iqbal. Iqbal challenged the Sep 19, 2012, Delhi High court order directing demolition of the illegal wall put up by him and his supporters at the site of alleged Akbarabadi Mosque.

Opposing the plea by Iqbal`s counsel that they may be allowed to undertake the construction, Jethmalani told the court that no authority other than the ASI could undertake masonry work at the site.

He said that in 1973, the central government had renamed the Edward Park as Netaji Subhash Park and had put up the statue of the freedom fighter.

Earlier, counsel for Iqbal told the court that the issue of Akbarabadi Mosque had not cropped up suddenly, and in 2007, a PIL was filed in the Delhi High Court in respect of this mosque.

The court was told that the wall that the high court had directed to be pulled down was constructed by Iqbal, who represents the Matia Mahal constituency, and his supporters allegedly to protect two minarets of the mosque whose ruins were discovered during earth work by the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC).

The court asked the DMRC to submit its plan for carrying out tunneling work for construction of Delhi Gate-Red Fort corridor so it would look into it.

The court sought the tunneling plan, after counsel for the DMRC told the court that though all its machines and other material were in place it could not go ahead with its work because of the status quo ordered by it. Counsel told the court that Metro work would not even touch the site under contention.

The apex court Oct 30, 2012, ordered the status quo over the structure put up on the excavated site.

The court will hold further hearing on the matter Friday (March 1).