Munmun Kaur –

Published On: December 10, 2021 at 18:00 IST

A Delhi Court recently rejected a Civil Suit seeking restoration of Hindu and Jain deities and the right to worship within the Qutub Minar complex with an observation that“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 Civil Suit was apparently filed on behalf of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev, and others. The Plaintiffs besides seeking restoration contended that 27 temples were partly demolished by Qutb-ud-din-Aibak, a general in the army of Mohamad Gauri, also Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex by reusing the material.

 They even sought direction from the Court to the Central Government that a trust be made for the management and the maintenance of the place of worship.

The Court cited the Judgment of the apex Court in Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, “Cognisant as we are of our history and of the need for the nation to confront it, Independence was a watershed moment to heal the wounds of the past. Historical wrongs cannot be remedied by the people taking the law in their own hands.”

Civil Judge Neha Sharma observed that the argument of the Plaintiffs that they have a “right to ensure that deities are restored at original place with due dignity” by virtue of Article 25 and 26 of the Constitution is “devoid of merit“ as Fundamental Rights enshrined under Articles 25 and 26 of the Constitution are not absolute in nature.

“Hence, in my considered opinion, plaintiffs do not have an absolute right to restoration and worship in the suit property as public order which is an exception to Article 25 and 26 requires that status quo be maintained and protected monument be used for no religious purpose.”

The Court also pointed out that the mosque being declared a protected monument under the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act, 1904, its ownership lies with the government and the plaintiffs cannot demand restoration or a right to religious worship without challenging this notification itself.

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