Delhi court reserves plea order for ‘heir’ of former ‘united province of Agra’ ruler on Qutub row
A court here on Tuesday reserved its order on an application to intervene saying the intervener was a “necessary party” to an appeal seeking the restoration of Hindu and Jain deities at an alleged temple complex inside Qutub Minar.
The court was hearing arguments from claimant Kunwar Mahender Dhwaj Pratap Singh, who claimed he was the heir to the former ruler of the ‘united province of Agra’ and the owner of plots of land in several cities in Delhi and of the surroundings, including the property of Qutub Minar.
“Arguments heard. Coming to order on September 17, 2022 at 4 p.m.,” said Additional District Judge Dinesh Kumar. ML Sharma, Singh’s lawyer, claimed that the plaintiff was the heir of the former ruler of the United Province of Agra who had ruled the region since the 16th century. The ruling family owned the territory between the Ganga and Yamuna rivers, he said.
Sharma alleged that the government had encroached on the entire area and three petitions in this regard were pending in the Allahabad High Court. Singh has also made representations to the prime minister, president and relevant authorities to settle the “constitutional dispute”, the lawyer said. Without any amalgamation, treaty or instrument of adhesion, or payment of compensation, the government took over the land of the intervenor which was encroached on millions of people on behalf of the government, the lawyer claimed. Meanwhile, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) lawyer said Singh had no locus standi in the case and the claim of ownership lapsed in principle. The doctrine says that the courts will not help people who sleep on their rights.
Noting that at the current stage of the trial, the court cannot rule on the veracity of the claims made in the motion, the judge asked, even if they were found to be true, how was Singh a necessary party in the affair ? “The law is settled (on this aspect). You must show yourself as a legitimate or necessary party,” the judge said. “The government may be the encroachment, but you have to get your right settled by a (separate) court,” the judge said, adding, “This court cannot decide the question of land ownership.” At the last hearing on August 24, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had opposed the plea, saying the request to intervene was “without merit and devoid of any logical or legal reasoning”.
Prior to the filing of the petition, the court reserved the appeal order against an order of the trial court, dismissing the action brought by lawyer Hari Shankar Jain on behalf of Jain deity Tirthankar Lord Rishabh Dev, claiming that 27 temples had been partially demolished by Qutubdin Aibak. , a general in the army of Mohammad Gauri, and the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque was raised inside the complex by reusing the material.
In addition to the restoration of the deities in the alleged temple complex, the original lawsuit had also requested the issuance of instructions to the central government for the development of an administration plan and the creation of a trust to maintain the property, to worship and conduct of puja.
Civil Judge Neha Sharma had dismissed the lawsuit in December 2021, saying that in accordance with the provisions of the law and the relevant government notification, ownership of the property belonged to the government and the plaintiffs had no right to claim restoration and the right to religion. worship.
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