The Delhi High Court, which was hearing a PIL on the existence of a “ mosque” on its premises, directed the Central government to submit the records of the Land and Development Office (L&DO) after it was informed that the High Court registry did not have a copy of the original land records of the court premises.
The PIL, filed by a member of the Hindu Mahasabha, had raised an objection to the existence of a “mosque” inside the High Court premises on the grounds that a religious structure cannot be permitted on court premises.
The court of Justice Pradeep Nandrajog and Justice Pratibha Rani issued notice to the Ministry of Urban Development and the L&DO to bring on record the original land records and the layout plan after the Registry officials stated that the High Court administration only had the notification by which the court was granted land.
The notification, incidentally, mentions the existence of a “mosque” in the area but does not specify its precise location.
In his PIL, Mahasabha member Ajay Gautam claimed that the structure near the court’s main entry gate was not an “ancient” or “protected” mosque according to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) records and a religious structure could not be allowed inside a public office of the state.
The “mosque” has been in a controversy since 2013 when the court administration allowed repairs to the damaged walls of the structure.
With increasing number of lawyers and litigants offering prayers at the “mosque”, the PIL had raised the issue of security threats due to unfettered access to the structure which is located near Gate Number 5 of the High Court.