The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has today submitted its reply opposing the plea before the Saket Court seeking to revive Hindu Temple in the location of the Qutb Minar.

In its plea, the ASI has said that "The destruction of old temples to build the Qutb Minar complex is a matter of historical fact. The Qutb Minar complex is a living monument that has been protected since 1914. No one has the right to worship on the complex."

Opposing the plea, the ASI has told the Court that at the time the monument was placed under its protection as a protected area, there was no worship and that it cannot grant any such permission now. "We cannot change the character of the protected area as there was no practice of worship at the time the monument was placed under protection. We cannot allow permission to worship now", the ASI has said.

The ASI has said that Qutb Minar has been a protected monument since 1914. "The revival of worship cannot be allowed at a monument where such a practice was not prevalent at the time of it being granted the "protected" status," the ASI said in its reply.

It has also said that there is no provision under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act a per which worship can be started at any living monument. It relies upon an order of the Delhi High Court dated January 27, 1999, in this regard.

Earlier, it was reported that the National Monuments Authority (NMA) has identified a plethora of evidence to suggest that the complex was constructed by repurposing material from 27 razed Hindu-Jain temples.

It was reported that even a defaced idol of Lord Ganesha was found by the NMA in its survey. As per the report, ASI's own plaque outside the mosque declares that it was made with the "carved columns and other architectural members of twenty-seven Hindu and Jain temples".