The blast was the second in the last eight months. On September 19, 2010, a car bomb sparked panic near the Jama Masjid. The terror outfit Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility for the attack.

An explosion was reported outside the Delhi High Court on Wednesday afternoon. It triggered panic and prompting the authorities to sound a high alert in the capital and tighten security at public places. No one was injured.

Low-intensity explosives, wrapped in a polythene bag and kept close to the car parked near Gate No. 7, went off around 1.30 p.m. Ammonium nitrate, a battery-like object, wires and some nails were found at the site by forensic experts.

Police said it was too early to say who could be behind the explosion.

Suresh, who had come to the court in connection with a case, said: “It was lunch time, and I was in the court canteen with my friend Manoj, when we heard an explosion. We thought it was a tyre burst. We rushed out and found smoke coming out of the bonnet of a car. There was fire near the front wheel, and two people were trying to douse it with water.”

Initially, it appeared that the fire was caused by an explosion in the radiator. But the police and the bomb disposal squad later confirmed that it was a low-intensity explosion.

Packet of explosives

“There was a minor explosion. A packet containing explosives kept in a plastic bag near the right side of a Ford Figo exploded. There was a minor damage to the car, but no casualty,” Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dharmendra Kumar said.

Mr. Kumar said the area where the car was parked had open access, and there were no closed-circuit television cameras on the lane.

The car belonged to lawyer Rajat Jain, a resident of Pitampura, the police said.

Police spokesperson Rajan Bhagat said a high alert was sounded and intensive checking was being carried out at various places.

“Security has been stepped up at markets, shopping malls, cinema halls, railway stations and other public places to avoid any untoward incidents.”

The investigation has been entrusted to the Special Cell.