New expert committee formed for Jantar Mantar conservation: ASI to Delhi HC

In order to set up a meeting of the freshly constituted expert committee for carrying out conservation and restoration of the monument, the ASI requested for eight weeks' time in the affidavit

Jantar Mantar (Photo: IANS)
Jantar Mantar (Photo: IANS)
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IANS

The Delhi High Court has been apprised by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that a new expert committee has been formed for the conservation, restoration, and proper functionality of the Jantar Mantar monument.

The ASI made its submission, in a short affidavit, before the bench of Justice Manmeet Pritam Singh Arora, while responding to a contempt plea moved by Ravindra Nath Sharma in 2011.

Sharma was aggrieved by non-compliance of a division bench order passed on September 22, 2010, which recorded an undertaking provided by the ASI that Jantar Mantar shall be made operational and would, to the best of their abilities, be restored to its former grandeur. The bench had also directed the Central and the Delhi governments to extend necessary support to the ASI.

After Justice Arora's recent order passed on January 20, the government agency filed the short affidavit in the matter.

In order to set up a meeting of the freshly constituted expert committee and to provide recommendations for carrying out conservation and restoration of the monument, the ASI requested for eight weeks' time in the affidavit.

Opposing the prayer, Sharma's counsel submitted that ASI's response was "deliberately vague" and that the inaction on its part showed lack of regard for the pendency of the matter.


The court, however, accepted ASI's request "in the interest of justice".

"It is however, reasonably expected that the newly constituted committee shall hold the meeting at the earliest so that steps taken for preservation, restoration and proper functionality of the monument can be placed on record before the next date of hearing," the court said.

Accordingly, the court listed it for further hearing on August 31.

The Superintending Archaeologist, who filed the affidavit on behalf of ASI, was also directed by the court to remain present in court on the next date of hearing.

"It is directed that the status report indicating the steps initiated for conservation, preservation, restoration and proper functionality of the monument be filed one (1) week prior to the next date of hearing," the court added.

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