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    HC allows 50 people to offer Namaz at Nizamuddin Markaz during Ramadan

    New Delhi, April 15: The Delhi High Court on Thursday allowed 50 people to offer prayers at Nizamuddin Markaz mosque, five times a day, subject to guidelines issued by authorities concerned during the holy month of Ramadan.

    The mosque was closed for devotees after the Tablighi Jamaat congregation last year.

    A single-judge bench of Justice Mukta Gupta relied upon June 2020 Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) guidelines that permitted the opening of places of worship and religious places.

    The high court noted that there was no direction to close the places of worship under the latest DDMA guidelines issued on April 10.

    It said that situation is getting grim day by day but since all religious places of worship are open, this also had to be opened.

    The court had on Tuesday sought an affidavit from the competent authority on their stand relating to religious places. The court noted that the same was not filed and therefore it relied on the DDMA notification which was issued last year and was still in force.

    Appearing for Union of India, advocate Rajat Nair told the court that the situation is becoming grave day by day and infection is at an all-time high in the national capital and therefore it would not be in the interest of anyone to press for a congregation of a religious nature at present time.

    Advocate Nair also mentioned that the Kalka Temple is offering Darshan online and Sacred Heart Church is conducting online masses.

    The court clarified that its order will be subject to any other notification relating to religious places and gatherings.

    The court made this order while hearing the petition filed by Delhi Waqf Board through advocate Wajeeh Shafiq.

    The petitioner had sought to reassess the necessity of keeping the waqf premises, situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, under their locks.

    The petitioner sought to issue direction to the respondents to consider adopting more advanced and scientific methods, including but not limited to, preparing sketch/digital sketch, photography/videography of the interiors of the said waqf premises, for securing the condition of the interiors of waqf premises, i.e., Municipal nos. 168, 168A, 168B situated at Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin between Dargah Hazrat Nizamuddin and police Station Hazrat Nizamuddin, if securing the condition of interiors of the said waqf premises is necessary for the purpose of any investigation or criminal trial.

    It also sought direction to the respondents to cause only necessary and minimum interference with the operation of the religious place.

    The petition said that the respondents have put the waqf premises comprised in Municipal nos. 168, 168A and 168B [Masjid Bangley Wali, Madarsa Kashif-ul uloom and the attached hostel] situated as Basti Hazrat Nizamuddin, Delhi under their locks since March 31 2020. "It is submitted that the premise is popularly known as 'Markaz' and has been used for religious purposes," said the plea.

    The central government vide its guidelines for phased reopening, known as 'Guidelines for Unlock 1' dated May 5, 2020, had allowed the religious places outside containment to open from June 8, 2020. However, as per the information of the petitioner from the month of September 2020, the area of Hazrat Nizamuddin is kept outside the list of containment zones.—(ANI)

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