The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has told a Delhi court that though there was no denial about existence of Hindu sculptures inside the Qutub Minar complex, a fundamental right to workshop can't be claimed with respect to the protected monument..The ASI while conceding that architectural members and images of Hindu and Jain deities were reused for the construction of the Qutub Minar complex, contended that the same cannot be a ground to claim right to worship over monuments protected under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 (AMASR Act). The ASI's submission came in response to a plea claiming that the Qutub complex in South Delhi, which houses the famous minaret, was originally a complex of 27 "lofty" Hindu and Jain temples before they were destroyed in the 12th century by Qutb-ud-din Aibak, who erected the present structures."Fundamental right cannot be availed in violation of any status of the land. The basic principle of protection/conservation is not to allow starting of any new practice in a monument declared and notified as a protected one under the Act. Revival of worship is not allowed wherever it is not practiced at the time of protection of a monument," an affidavit filed by ASI said.The affidavit further argued there was no provision under the Ancient Monument and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 under which worship can be started at any living monument. "The Qutub Minar is not a place of worship and since the time of its protection from the Central government, the Qutub Minar or any part of the Qutub Minar was not under worship by any community," the ASI said. It pointed out that architectural members and images of Hindu and Jain deities were reused in the construction of the Qutub Minar Complex. "This is very clear from the inscription in the complex which is open for public viewing," it added.However, it will be contrary to the provisions of the AMASR Act to agree to the contention of any person claiming fundamental right to worship in this centrally protected monument. The suit filed on behalf of deities Lord Vishnu and Lord Rishabh Dev through advocates Hari Shankar Jain and Ranjana Agnihotri has sought restoration of deities within the complex and the right to do puja and darshan of the deities.In December 2021, Civil Judge Neha Sharma of the Saket Court had dismissed the suit, holding that past wrongs cannot be the basis for disturbing peace of our present and future.The present plea before the Additional District Judge has challenged that order. .The suit has sought a declaration that the property in question, known as Quwwat-Ul-Islam, is a huge temple complex that was declared as a protected monument under Section 3 of the Ancient Monuments Preservation Act.The plaintiffs have argued that Qutub ud-Din Aibak, a commander of Mohammed Ghori, destroyed the Shree Vishnu Hari Temple and 27 Jain and Hindu temples, and raised inner constructions within the temple complex.The temple complex was later renamed the ‘Quwwat-Ul-Islam Mosque,’ and since Muslims never declared the place a Waqf property before or after the construction, the same could not be used as a mosque at any point of time, it was claimed.