Illegal mosque construction raises larger issue, says SC

The Supreme Court on Thursday said the alleged unauthorised construction of a mosque at a park near the Red Fort here was not a simple case of illegal structure as it raised a larger issue.

“The issue is larger than one of the simple unauthorised construction,” said a bench headed by chief justice Altamas Kabir and extended the operation of its earlier order for status quo at the site till November 8 when the matter would be heard again.

The Archaeological Society of India (ASI), meanwhile, told the bench, also comprising justices S S Nijjar and J Chelameswar, that the site at Subhash Park was a protected area and hence, no construction can be carried out.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation, the custodian of the park where the mosque was allegedly built by local MLA Shoaib Iqbal and his supporters over the purported ruins of a Mughal-era Akbarabadi mosque, stuck to its earlier stand that the structure was unauthorised one.

The Bench, meanwhile, asked senior advocate Aman Lekhi, who had mentioned the issue in the Delhi HC, which in turn, had taken suo motu cognisance of it, to file an affidavit in response to an allegation that he raised it while being in robes.

The HC, however, had rejected the plea saying one further aspect urged by counsel is that he has objections to Aman Lekhi, senior advocate appearing in robes.

This plea arises out of a complete misconception as if the petition was filed by Aman Lekhi in person.

All that Aman Lekhi did was to bring a particular aspect to the notice of the court which had resulted in initiation of suo motu proceedings by the court. Thus, this plea is without
any basis,” the high court had said.

The apex court had asked all parties on October 30 to maintain status quo till Thursday at the park.

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