'Cops ignored court order on mosque'

Police failed to remove illegal structure, civic agency tells High Court

Alleging “non-cooperation” by police, North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday blamed them for their failure to comply with the Delhi High Court order to remove unauthorised construction allegedly built 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 have 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 on Thursday, telling the bench that the structure was required to be removed first for it to start the excavation at the disputed site.

The North Coporation 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-cooperation of the police authorities,” the civic body’s 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.

Sharma 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 were 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.

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