Only 10 people can pray at demolished mosque site: Court

Friday, January 21, 2011

NEW DELHI - The Delhi High Court Friday reiterated that only ten people would be allowed to offer Friday prayers at the site of a demolished mosque and said it has asked the capital\’s land and housing development authority to reclaim the land.

The court disallowed a fresh plea of Noor Charitable Society (NCS) seeking permission to allow more than 10 people to offer Friday prayers at the site of a mosque that was demolished by the authorities for being built on public land.

\”This land does not belong to you anymore. I have ordered a status quo for a period of two months to facilitate the resolution of the issue. The prayer seeking waiver on the number of \’namazees\’ cannot be allowed at this stage. Therefore we cannot allow your plea,\” Justice G.S. Sistani said while dismissing the application filed by NCS Managing Committee seeking the court\’s intervention in waiving the condition that only 10 devotees can offer \’namaz\’ five times a day at the mosque in Jangpura in south Delhi that was demolished Jan 12.

\”We have already asked the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) to reclaim the land and build a boundary wall around it and allow 10 people to offer namaaz,\” said the court.

DDA demolished the illegal structure constructed on public land in Jangpura area, leading to protests and stone-pelting by angry people. However, the court Jan 17 directed the DDA to allow 10 devotees to offer prayers for the next two months at the site.

\”We have allowed 10 persons to pray there for two months because you have admitted before this court that within that time you will find a permanent solution,\” the court said.

\”The committee is facing the problem that Friday is coming shortly and in Friday prayers, there will be more number of \’namazees\’ from the neighbouring area due to which it is praying that at least the condition of 10 persons may kindly be waived only for Friday prayers,\” the application, filed by advocate Mohammed Sajid, said.

The court also rejected the plea that an \’Imam\’ and two devotees be allowed to remain present at the site to guard the \”religious and other materials of the mosque\”.

\”Police is already there to protect them. This cannot be allowed,\” the court said.

Earlier, the court had asked DDA to construct a boundary wall to repossess the plot and said the prayers were permitted to facilitate a solution to the issue.

\”DDA will complete the construction of boundary wall (at the site where illegal mosque was demolished) and leave a gate of 2.5 feet to allow 10 persons of the community, whose names would be furnished to DDA and police, to offer \’namaz\’ for a period of two months,\” Justice Sistani had said.

The court then did not entertain the plea of Jangpura Residents\’ Welfare Association (RWA) seeking initiation of contempt proceedings against Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Syed Ahmed Bukhari and three Delhi MLAs for instigating people to trespass into the DDA land.

Filed under: Religion

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