Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute: Varanasi District Court To Decide On Maintainability Of Case Today

 New Delhi: The Varanasi district court will give a verdict on the maintainability of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case today. The court of District Judge A K Vishevesh will hear the matter as per directions of the Supreme Court, according to a PTI report. The court had given a week’s time to both Hindu and Muslim sides to file objections to the report of a court-mandated videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

The Varanasi court will hear the plea of the Muslim side, which said the suit doesn’t have merit as it violates the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

Section 4 of the Act bars filing of any suit or initiating any other legal proceeding for a conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, as existing on August 15, 1947.

Jain said the court ordered to make available the commission report to both sides for filing objections.

Meanwhile, a fresh application was filed in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking permission to worship the “Shivling” claimed to have been found in the Gyanvapi complex during the videography survey.

The plea, filed on behalf of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, also sought a ban on the entry of Muslims to the complex.

Sangh’s president Jitendra Singh Bisen said the writ has been filed by his wife Kiran Singh and organisation’s general secretary. Bisen said the court has admitted the writ and on their request agreed to conduct a hearing Wednesday on the third aspect–permission to offer prayers at Shivling.

A district court heard the matter on Wednesday and transferred the matter to a fast-track court which will be heard on May 30. 

A similar petition was moved by Dr Kulpati Tiwari, Mahant of the Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple, on Monday for regular “pujan” (worship) of the Shivling.

The apex court had on Friday transferred the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge, saying looking at the “complexities” and “sensitivity” of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer having an experience of over 25-30 years handles this case.

The district judge court had on the previous day reserved its order on which prayer should be heard first.

The Hindu side argued that since a court-appointed commission has completed its survey work, the opponents should present their objections to it.

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s lawyer Mohammad Tauhid Khan had argued that the writ is not maintainable under Order 7 and Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, hence, it should be dismissed.

On May 16, the lower court had directed the district administration to seal a spot in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after counsels representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found during a court-mandated videography survey.

A mosque management committee spokesperson disputed the claim, telling a television channel that the object was part of a “fountain”.

He said lawyers representing the mosque committee were not fully heard before the sealing order was announced.

The Hindu side claimed that the Shivling was found close to the “wazookhana”–a small reservoir used by Muslim devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering the namaz. 

(with PTI inputs)

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