Qutub Minar
Qutub Minar
File Photo

Following the high-profile legal battle over Ayodhya not too long ago, a petition has now been filed at a Delhi Court seeking the restoration of 27 Hindu and Jain temples in the Qutub Minar complex in Mehrauli.

The case has been listed on December 24 for consideration by the court.

The civil suit also seeks the 'right to worship' inside the Qutub Minar complex. The petitioners claim a 'temple complex' existing inside the premises even before the minaret's construction.

According to a lawyer familiar with the development, the matter came up for hearing on Tuesday before Civil Judge Neha Sharma who fixed the next date of hearing on December 24.

The civil suit has been filed on behalf of Hindu deity Lord Vishnu, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev and others through next friend advocates Hari Shankar Jain, Ranajna Agnihotri and Vishnu Shankar Jain.

The lawsuit claimed that short history displayed by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) narrated that 27 temples were demolished and reusing the materials of the construction of Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex.

"That this suit is being filed to preserve and protect the religious and cultural heritage of India and to exercise the right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 and 26 of Constitution of India by restoring 27 Hindu and Jain temples with respective deities which were dismantled, desecrated and damaged under the command and orders of Qutub-Din-Aibak, a commander of invader Mohammad Gauri, who established slave dynasty and raised some construction at the same very place of temples naming it as, Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque," the suit said.

It claimed that according to the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), 27 Hindu and Jain temples were demolished and Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex reusing the materials and sought to "restore" the demolished temples.

The suit sought to declare that Lord Vishnu, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh, Lord Sun, Goddess Gauri, Lord Hanuman, Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishab Dev have the right to be "restored" within the temple complex at the site of Quwwatul Mosque Complex, Mehrauli, south-west Delhi "after rebuilding it with the same honour and dignity".

It also sought to issue an injunction directing the Central government to create a trust, according to the Trust Act 1882, and hand over the management and administration of the temple complex situated within the area of Qutub Complex in Mehrauli after framing a scheme of the administration to such trust.

"Pass a decree in the nature of a permanent injunction, restraining the defendants permanently from interfering in making necessary repair works, raising construction and making arrangement for the pooja, darshan and worship of deities in accordance with Sections 16 and 19 of 'The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958' by a trust, to be created by the Central government within the area," the suit said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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