22 Feb 2022 10:43 AM GMT
A Delhi Court on Tuesday issued notice on an appeal filed against the order of a Civil Judge dismissing a civil suit filed on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Hindu deity Lord Vishnu alleging that the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid situated within the Qutub Minar Complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex and seeking restoration of the temple complex comprising as...
A Delhi Court on Tuesday issued notice on an appeal filed against the order of a Civil Judge dismissing a civil suit filed on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and Hindu deity Lord Vishnu alleging that the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid situated within the Qutub Minar Complex in Mehrauli was built in place of a temple complex and seeking restoration of the temple complex comprising as many as 27 temples.
Additional District Judge Pooja Talwar of Saket Courts admitted the appeal today while posting the matter for further hearing on May 11.
The Court has issued notice to Union of India through Ministry of Culture, Director General of Archaeological Survey of India and Superintending Archeological Delhi Circle, ASI.
Advocates Vishnu Shankar Jain and Amita Sachdeva appeared for the appellant in the matter.
About Civil Judge Order
Civil Judge Neha Sharma had rejected the civil suit after noting that the suit was barred by the provisions of the Places of Worship Act 1991 and rejected the plaint under Order 7 Rule 11(a) of Civil Procedure Code for non-disclosure of cause of action.
The plaint had alleged that around 27 Hindu and Jain temples were desecrated and damaged in 1198 under the rule of Mughal Emperor Qutub-Din-Aibak raising the construction of the said Mosque in place of those temples.
While rejecting the plaint, the Court had observed that the wrongs of the past cannot be a basis for disturbing the present peace.
"India had a culturally rich history. It has been ruled over by numerous dynasties. During arguments, the Ld. Counsel for plaintiff has vehemently argued on the point of national shame. However, nobody has denied that wrongs were committed in the past but such wrongs cannot be the basis for disturbing peace of our present and future," the Judge had observed.
The plaint had alleged that Qutubdin Aibak a commander of Mohammed Gauri dismantled the Vishnu Hari Temple and 27 Jain and Hindu temples along with respective deities and raised some inner constructions within the temple complex. The temple complex was renamed as 'QuwwatUl Islam Mosque'.
While dealing with the suit, the Court had said that once a monument has been declared as protected by the Government, the plaintiffs cannot insist that it must be used for other purposes.
The Court had added that every endeavour should be made to enforce the objective of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 and that it's purpose was to maintain the secular character of the nation.
"Our country had a rich history and has seen challenging times. Nevertheless, history has to be accepted as a whole. Can the good be retained and bad be deleted from our history? Thus, harmonious interpretation of both the statutes is required to give full force to the objective behind the Places of Worship Act, 1991," the Court had added.
"Hence, as per the provisions of the act, the ownership lies with the Government and the plaintiffs have no right to claim restoration and right to religious worship in the same without challenging the notification itself," it had said.
The plaintiffs had relied on Section 16 of the Archaeological Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act which permits to continue worship of the religion which maybe in consonance with the character of the building. However, the Court held that this provision has to be read in consonance with the Places of Worship Act, 1991.
The Court had also referred to the passages from the Supreme Court's Ayodhya Verdict which upheld the validity of the Places of Worship Act.
Case Title: JITENDER SINGH v. Union of India & Ors.