The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed 50 people to offer namaz five times a day at the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque during Ramzan.
Justice Prathiba M Singh directed the Station House Officer of Nizamuddin police station to permit entry of 50 people five times a day to offer namaz only on the first floor of the Masjid Bangley Wali.
The court declined to increase the number of people or allow use of other floors of the mosque for offering prayers as sought by senior advocate Ramesh Gupta on behalf of the Delhi Waqf Board, but allowed them to move an application before the SHO for the same.
The court said the SHO may decide any such application moved by the Board in accordance with the law.
The Delhi High Court on Tuesday asked the Centre whether the Delhi Disaster Management Authority's (DDMA) order prohibiting all kinds of gathering in the wake of increasing COVID-19 cases was being implemented across the board.
Justice Mukta Gupta directed the central government to file an affidavit indicating the manner in which the prohibitory orders of the DDMA issued on April 10 was being followed and whether any kind of social, religious, political or festive congregation or gathering was being permitted in the national capital.
The court was told, by the lawyer for the Delhi Waqf Board, that the DDMA order was not being implemented uniformly as huge gatherings and queues were seen outside the places of worship of a particular religion.
The judge also expressed displeasure over a statement given to the media by the Delhi Waqf Board's chairperson, Amanatullah Khan, who said that the court has allowed the mosque to be made operational.
"What is the business of this person (Amanatullah Khan) to give an interview (saying court ordered opening of the mosque)? Where has the court yesterday permitted opening of the markaz? I have not directed it," Justice Mukta Gupta said.
The court said it was "unfortunate" that such a statement was made by him when the issue with regard to reopening of the mosque was yet to be decided.
The court called for the affidavit, after Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta said that no gathering can be permitted at the mosque for offering prayers during Ramzan in view of the DDMA order.
He said only the five persons who were already being permitted to pray there each day can be allowed inside the Nizamuddin Markaz mosque.
The submission came during hearing of a plea by the Delhi Waqf Board seeking opening of the Nizamuddin Markaz where the Tablighi Jamaat congregation was held amid the COVID-19 pandemic and was locked since March 31 last year.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Delhi, the AAP-led government has decided to impose a weekend curfew. The announcement was made by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The update comes after the Chief Minister held a meeting with Delhi Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
"Curfew passes to be issued to those rendering essential services. Malls, gyms, spas and auditoriums to be closed. Cinemas halls to operate at 30% capacity only. People will not be allowed to dine-in restaurants, only home deliveries permitted," he added.