HC asks ASI to file mosque site report

The Delhi High Court on Friday asked the Archaeological Survey of India to file a report over the removal of illegal construction at the site of a purported mosque excavated near Jama Masjid.

Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri, Justice S K Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher asked ASI to file a list of articles collected from the disputed land, which the Municipal Corporation of Delhi had handed over to ASI.

“The ASI must file an action taken report in a sealed cover along with the list of articles,” said the bench. The next hearing is on August 31.

The court’s direction came after the advocate of legislator Shoaib Iqbal said the MCD handed over some articles, including a Quran and antiques, to ASI, and that a list of those articles should be produced.

The counsel asked the court to appoint a committee of experts or a retired HC judge to supervise the case and file the report. Iqbal told the court that he feared ASI would not investigate the issue in a transparent way. The bench assured him that ASI was a body of experts and its investigation will be impartial.

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