[Central Vista Redevelopment Project] "Not reached anywhere near Delhi Waqf Board's properties": Centre assures petitioner in Delhi High Court

  • Shreya Agarwal
  • 02:03 PM, 02 Dec 2021

Reassuring the Delhi High Court that "it is a long plan and we [Central Vista Redevelopment Project] have not reached anywhere near" to Delhi Waqf Board's properties in the vicinity of the ongoing project, Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta for the Centre sought and received an adjournment on Delhi Waqf Board's plea seeking protection of 6 mosques, on Wednesday.

Mehta urged the single judge bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva to adjourn for three weeks the Board's plea seeking preservation and protection of its 6 "heritage properties".

"Kindly have it after three weeks. Nothing is happening to these properties. My learned friend (petitioner) can rest assured," Mehta submitted.

However, the petitioner's counsel's request that the SG's submission may be taken on record was turned down by the Court saying it has "full faith" in the SG. 

The Court proceeded to adjourn the hearing in the case till January 20.

In its petition, the Delhi Waqf Board, represented by Senior Advocate Sanjoy Ghose, has sought the preservation and protection of 6 of its properties in the area - Masjid Zabta Ganj at Mansingh Road, Jama Masjid at Red Cross Road, Masjid Sunehri Bagh Road Near Udyog Bhawan, Mazar Sunehri Bagh Road behind Moti Lal Nehru Marg, Masjid Krishi Bhawan inside Krishi Bhawan Compound and Masjid Vice President at the official residence of the Vice President of India.

The Board has claimed that these are "more than ordinary mosques, and have a distinction attached to them," and that "neither the British Government nor the Government of India have ever created any hindrance in the observance of religious practices" at these preserved properties.

They also point out that these properties are all "more than 100 years old" and are continuously being used for religious purpose.

"It is not the case that the government buildings were built first and thereafter these properties came into existence, to the contrary, these properties were well in existence when the government buildings were constructed around them or in the vicinity," the petition filed through lawyer Wajeeh Shafiq has claimed.

In September, the Court had granted time to the Centre to state its stand on the petition.

Cause Title: Delhi Waqf Board vs Union of India