Qutub Minar’s status cannot be altered: ASI

25 May 2022, 12:28 pm
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The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Tuesday opposed a plea before a Delhi court seeking restoration of Hindu and Jain deities inside the Qutub Minar complex, saying it is not a place of worship and the existing status of the monument cannot be altered.

The ASI also said it would be contrary to law to agree to the contention of any person claiming a fundamental right to worship in this “centrally protected” monument.

The ASI, however, said the architectural materials and images of Hindu and Jain deities were reused in the construction of the Qutab complex.

Additional District Judge Nikhil Chopra reserved the order on the plea for June 9.

“Fundamental right cannot be availed in violation of any status of the land. The basic principle of protection conservation is not to allow starting of any new practice in a monument declared and notified as a protected one under the Act,” the ASI said.

It said that revival of worship was not allowed wherever it was not practiced at the time of protection of a monument. “Qutab Minar is not a place of worship and since the time of its protection by the Centre, Qutab Minar or any part of Qutab Minar was not under worship by any community,” it said.