600-year-old Mehrauli mosque demolition: Delhi HC asks DDA to maintain status quo on land

- February 5, 2024
| By : Patriot Bureau |

The DDA demolished both the mosque and the Behrul Uloom madrasa on January 30, citing them as "illegal structures" in Sanjay van

The court said there was an unlawful assembly which vandalised the properties of people belonging to a particular community. (Representational Image: Pixabay)

The Delhi High Court issued an order on Monday instructing the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to maintain a status quo on the land in Mehrauli, where a mosque, believed to be over six centuries old, was demolished last month.

Justice Sachin Datta directed that the order would remain in effect until the next hearing and would not hinder authorities from addressing other illegal structures in the vicinity.

While scheduling the next hearing for February 12, the court specified that the DDA must uphold the status quo concerning the site of the ‘Akhoondji mosque.’ This decision follows a plea by the managing committee of the Delhi Waqf Board, contending that the mosque’s demolition was unlawful.

The waqf counsel urged the court to mandate the maintenance of the current situation on the site. The DDA demolished both the mosque and the Behrul Uloom madrasa on January 30, citing them as “illegal structures” in Sanjay van.

The DDA justified its actions in court, stating that the demolition occurred following the recommendations of the Religious Committee dated January 4. According to the DDA, the decision was made after providing the CEO of Delhi Waqf Board with an opportunity for a hearing.

The petitioner argued that the Religious Committee lacked the authority to order any demolition action. On January 31, the court directed the DDA to submit a reply outlining the actions taken regarding the property and its legal basis. Additionally, the court requested information on whether any prior notice was given before the demolition occurred.

(with PTI inputs)