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‘Baseless’: ASI Slams Petitioner Claiming Ownership of Qutub Minar

The ASI stated that the intervention petition was “baseless and devoid of any logical or legal reasoning.”

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‘Baseless’: ASI Slams Petitioner Claiming Ownership of Qutub Minar
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In relation to an appeal seeking the restoration of deities inside the alleged temple complex within the Qutub Minar property, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Wednesday, 24 August, opposed an intervention petition before a Delhi court which claimed ownership of the Qutub Minar property.

The ASI stated that the intervention petition was “baseless and devoid of any logical or legal reasoning.”

The intervenor, Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Pratap Singh, in a petition filed on 9 June claimed that he was the heir of the United Province of Agra and the owner of lands in several cities in and around Delhi, including the property of Qutub Minar.
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ASI's Response

In its response, the ASI said that the plea was insufficient to assert any right in the present appeal and the intervenor's claim of ownership of lands in and around Delhi was not raised before any court of law since 1947.

The ASI said that the petitioner has claimed rights for large and vast areas in several states but was sitting idle on it for the last 150 years without raising the issue before any court, Bar&Bench reported.

"He wakes up some morning and comes to this Court as an impleader without any basis," the ASI added.

The statutory body further added that when the Qutub Minar was declared a protected monument in 1913 as per law, no one raised objections and the period of limitation had “lapsed many times over.”

Moreover, the intervenor did not implead the representative owners of the land for the Centre and state, the Land and Development Office (L&DO) and Delhi Development Authority (DDA) respectively, the ASI added.

“Hence, the plea to be joined as a necessary party in the appeal is baseless and devoid of any logical or legal reasoning and hence opposed,” the ASI said.

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Matter Posted on 13 September

Noting the absence of the intervenor's counsel, Additional District Judge Dinesh Kumar listed the matter on 13 September, providing one last opportunity to the counsel for making arguments.

In May, the court had reserved the order in the petition seeking the 'restoration' of 27 temples that were alleged to have been destroyed to construct a mosque within the Qutub Minar complex.

Civil Judge Neha Sharma of the Saket Court had dismissed the suit in December 2021 saying that "past wrongs cannot be the basis for disturbing peace of our present and future."

(With inputs from PTI and Bar&Bench.)

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Edited By :Garima Sadhwani
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