New Delhi, Apr 16 (PTI) The Delhi High Court today left it to the Centre to decide a lawyer’s PIL challenging the bar on offering ‘namaz’ or prayers at the Khirki Masjid in south Delhi, saying the government was the competent authority to take a decision on it.

The lawyer was seeking lifting of the bar on offering prayers at the protected monument as there was no other place near the Saket court complex to offer ‘namaz’.

A bench of Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice C Hari Shankar said if the matter was entertained by it, there would soon be requests coming to it for building temples and churches near court complexes.

The bench said the plea by advocate Shahid Ali be treated by the Centre as a representation and disposed it of.

The petitioner had claimed that while the protected monument may have historical importance, ‘masjids’ or mosques were built so that Muslims can pray.

The plea also contended that despite it being a protected monument as per the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), the authority had taken no steps to prevent unauthorised construction around the mosque which was in a dilapidated condition.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.