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Monday, October 18, 2021

Protect religious properties part of Central Vista Redevelopment Project: Waqf Board before Delhi HC

The petition seeks protection of Masjid Zabta Ganj, Jama Masjid New Delhi, Masjid Sunehri Bagh, Mazar Sunehri Bagh, Masjid Krishi Bhawan and Masjid Vice President House.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: September 23, 2021 10:17:22 am
central vista projectThe Waqf board in the petition, through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, submitted that the case has been instituted with a limited objective to ensure that the religious properties, which are of historical importance, are preserved and protected during the redevelopment process. (File Photo by Amit Mehra)

The Delhi Waqf Board has approached the Delhi High Court for protection and preservation of different religious properties situated in and around the places where works under the Central Vista Redevelopment Project are taking place at present. The six properties including five mosques are more than 100 years old, said the petition.

Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva Tuesday adjourned the hearing of the case to September 29 after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought time to seek instructions in the matter. The court earlier observed that any stay on the project will not be possible on account of the orders passed by the higher courts.

Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose, representing the Waqf board, clarified that they were not seeking any stay on the project. However, Ghose also submitted if the Centre could give an assurance till the next date of hearing. The court did not agree with the submission.

“Why should he give that assurance? You will indirectly get a stay order then. The project is continuing in a particular fashion. There are timelines, plan for construction. I am sure there will be some… they would have taken this into account. It is not something that has suddenly cropped up. It is an old structure. They would have catered to it,” said Justice Sachdeva.

The Waqf board in the petition, through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq, submitted that the case has been instituted with a limited objective to ensure that the religious properties, which are of historical importance, are preserved and protected during the redevelopment process. The plea said the board was constrained to approach the court as none of the representations seeking clarification and assurance from authorities have been responded to.

The petition seeks protection of Masjid Zabta Ganj, Jama Masjid New Delhi, Masjid Sunehri Bagh, Mazar Sunehri Bagh, Masjid Krishi Bhawan and Masjid Vice President House. “The waqf properties subject matter of the present petition, being places of worship, have great sentimental value and it is necessary for the respondent to clear the doubts with respect to the future of these waqf properties,” the Waqf Board has said.

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