The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) Friday told the Delhi High Court that the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur would carry out a survey to ascertain if there any Mughal-era mosque structure existed near Subhash Park in central Delhi.
The ASI submitted its status report in a sealed cover to a special bench of Acting Chief Justice A.K. Sikri, Justice S.K. Kaul and Justice Rajiv Shakdher saying that IIT-Kanpur will conduct a ground penetration radar survey of the site and submit its report by the end of September.
It further submitted that after IIT-Kanpur submit its report, the ASI will start its work on the site.
During the course of hearing, the North Delhi Municipal Corporation cleared its stand on the issue and said that it is ready to comply with the court’s July 30 order to demolish the illegal structure that came up in the park but sought police assistance for the purpose.
The court July 30 asked the ASI and the corporation to remove the structure, and instructed police to provide protection to the demolition team.
Counsel for the civic agency said that the agency is not into the matter of mosque or temple and it is not favouring any religion.
“Let police provide us force and we will demolish the structure within two hours,” MCD added asking court to fix date and time of demolition of illegal structure.
Meanwhile, the court abruptly adjourned the case for next Friday after lawyers and people of both the parties affected the decorum of court.
During the arguments of senior advocate K.T.S. Tulsi appearing for legislator Shoaib Iqbal, other parties including lawyers present in the court and supporters of both the sides raised objection to his submission to allow prayers on the disputed land.
“Though we have started hearing the matter, we have to abruptly adjourn the matter because of presence of large number of people in the court which is creating disturbance in smooth functioning of the proceedings,” said the court in its order.
The order further stated: “It has created atmosphere of indiscipline. And is affecting court decorum. Influenced by their presence, even at times there is an attempt to play to the gallery. We feel that hearing can not take place in such an atmosphere and in a matter like this, there is no need for such large gathering.”
The bench made it clear that only the counsel appearing for the parties and journalists would be present in the court during the hearing of the case.
The dispute began after the construction had come up over the ruins of another structure believed to be from the Mughal era. It had surfaced during the digging work for a Delhi Metro station.
The court handed over the site to the ASI to ascertain if the ruins were indeed the remains of the Akbarabadi mosque from the Mughal era.