Construction near Jama Masjid: HC allows Shahi Imam to respond



New Delhi: The Shahi Imam of 16th century historic Jama Masjid was allowed today by the Delhi High Court to respond to a report of the court-appointed commission on alleged illegal constructions inside the mosque.

Justice Rajiv Shakdher, who started dictating the order asking the MCD to demolish the alleged illegal construction inside the mosque in pursuance of the report, however, later allowed the plea of a lawyer, representing Shahi Imam, that he be given an opportunity to file his reply.

"This a factual finding and the report also says the construction is without any valid permission," Justice Shakdher said in response to the lawyer's plea that "some renovations have been carried out and no illegal structures have come up."

"Let a reply be filed," said the court, while posting the matter for hearing on April 9, It made clear to the MCD and the Shahi Imam that no further construction be carried out at the site.

The bench had appointed earlier a lawyer as the court commissioner to ascertain the allegations of Suhail Ahmed Khan, an Old Delhi resident, that illegal constructions have come up inside the historic mosque.

Khan, in his plea, had alleged that Shahi Imam of the 16th century historic mosque, Maulana Syed Ahmed Bhukhari, and his three brothers, Syed Hasan Bhukhari, Syed Yahia Bhukhari and Syed Tarikh Bhukhari have been raising illegal structures adjacent to it.

The court had earlier asked the authorities including the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to stop dis-figuration of the site near the monument.

The petition, filed through lawyers C Prakash and Rajesh Kumar Yadav, alleged Bhukhari brothers were illegally encroaching sites inside the mosque premises.

PTI