Mosque row: ASI granted more time to submit report - The New Indian Express

Mosque row: ASI granted more time to submit report

Published: 07th December 2012 06:23 PM

Last Updated: 07th December 2012 06:23 PM

The Delhi High Court today granted more time to Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to file its report on the survey assigned to it to ascertain if there was any Mughal-era mosque structure near the Red Fort.

Seeking more time, the counsel for ASI which was to submit the report today, told a special bench headed by Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, that IIT, Kanpur, has said that it would complete the assignment by December-end.

ASI had earlier assigned the task to IIT, Kanpur, to conduct the radar survey which will do a ground penetration of the site to ascertain the depth of the structure if at all existing there.

The bench, also comprising justices Rajiv Shakdher and Justice M L Mehta, granted time to ASI till February 1 and said "ASI said some more time is required for IIT, Kanpur, to complete the task assigned to it. So, time is granted to ASI to submit the report."

The structure was allegedly built by area MLA Shoaib Iqbal at the excavation site at Subhash Park, near the Jama Masjid, where the ruins of a purported 17th century mosque were unearthed.

Meanwhile, the court also asked Delhi Police to look into the allegations levelled by S S Omji, Vice-President of Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, a religious body, that he has been attacked repeatedly by some unidentified persons at the instance of Iqbal.

While making the submission, Omji broke down before the bench and said he had complained to police many times but no action has been taken.

He sought police protection alleging there is a threat to his life.

To his submission, the bench said "the police would expeditiously look into the allegations made by S S Omji and file a status report in a sealed cover" and posted the matter for February 1.

On July 30, the court had asked ASI and the civic agency to remove the "illegal" structure, and instructed police to provide protection to the demolition team.

The Supreme Court had in October ordered status quo on a plea by Iqbal challenging the high court order.

Earlier, the court handed over the site to ASI to ascertain if the ruins were indeed the remains of the Akbarabadi mosque from the Mughal era.

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