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Sunehri Bagh Masjid Faces Legal Challenge In New Delhi

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A legal battle is unfolding in New Delhi as Abdul Aziz, the Imam of Sunehri Bagh Masjid, challenges the New Delhi Municipal Council’s (NDMC) public notice proposing the demolition of the 150-year-old mosque. The notice, issued on December 24, citing alleged traffic congestion as the reason, has triggered controversy and accusations that the traffic issue is merely a pretext for the mosque’s removal. 

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The controversy surrounding the proposed demolition of Sunehri Bagh Masjid has taken a legal turn, with Imam Abdul Aziz filing a plea in the Delhi High Court. The NDMC’s public notice, published in various newspapers, invited opinions on the removal of the historic mosque, situated near Udyog Bhawan Metro station. The controversy has escalated as many argue that the council’s focus on traffic congestion might be a pretext for the demolition.

Sunehri Bagh Masjid Demolition NDMC Asked For Public Reaction Heritage  Structure Near Parliament Hasrat Mohani History | Sunehri Bagh Masjid  Demolition: सुनहरी बाग मस्जिद हटाएं या नहीं? NDMC ने पूछा सवाल तो

Source: ABP News

In the plea submitted to the court, the Imam contends that the NDMC’s notice was issued with malafide intentions and lacked proper application of mind. Aziz argues that the structure is being targeted without substantial research or data supporting the claim that it contributes to traffic congestion in the area. The court, while questioning the Imam’s standing, has listed the petition for further consideration on January 8.

The NDMC, represented by advocate Shriharsha Peechara, assured the court that no action would be taken until the Heritage Conservation Committee (HCC) of the Ministry of Urban Development makes a final decision. Peechara emphasized that the decision-making authority lies with the HCC, and the NDMC is bound by its permission.

Sunehri Bagh masjid issue receives over 60, 000 responses, and counting |  Delhi News -

Source: The Indian Express

The petition filed by the Imam challenges the NDMC’s narrative, asserting that government buildings like Vayu Bhawan, Udyog Bhawan, and Udyog Bhawan Metro Station contribute significantly to the traffic in the area. The plea argues that these offices, blending harmoniously with Sunehri Bagh Masjid, have played a role in the movement of vehicles. The petition underscores the fallacy of attributing traffic congestion solely to the mosque, considering its historical significance and aesthetic integration with the surroundings.

Sunehri Bagh Masjid: Traffic study in 2021 said traffic volume was below  capacity | Delhi News -

Source: The Indian Express

Furthermore, Aziz’s counsel contends that NDMC lacks the authority to remove the heritage structure and highlights that the masjid is part of the 123 waqf properties surveyed by the Land and Development Officer of the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. Despite the previous Congress-led government’s de-notification of these properties in 2014, Aziz argues that the high court’s April order and the Supreme Court’s 2021 judgment in the Central Vista case protect Sunehri Bagh Masjid.


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