Varanasi court maintains Hindu side petition’s maintainability, hearing to continue

12 September, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

Hindu Side Headlines

The Muslim side's petition was denied by the court, which declared the case to be maintainable. According to Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, who is arguing on behalf of the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi...

Varanasi court rejected a request on Monday from the Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee that questioned the complaint brought by five Hindu women requesting permission to pray in the Gyanvapi mosque compound’s grounds as being maintainable.

District Judge AK Vishvesh rendered a decision in the Gyanvapi Shrinagar Gauri dispute case and set a new hearing date. The next hearing in the Gyanvapi mosque issue is scheduled for September 22.

According to Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, who is representing the Hindu side, the court rejected the Muslim side’s plea and declared the suit to be maintainable.

Five ladies submitted the petition, which asked for authorization to allow daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are allegedly located on the exterior wall of the nearby Gyanvapi mosque. The mosque is next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

A Varanasi court then mandated the survey of the mosque compound. As a result, a local Varanasi court ruled in May that the facility would be videotaped. The report was delivered in court on May 19 after the survey work was finished on May 16.

The Hindu side claimed that a structure that resembled a Shivling had been discovered in the mosque compound during the videography inspection, but the Masjid committee argued that it was actually a fountain and not a Shivling.

The Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi contains a number of statues of gods and goddesses, as well as other buildings associated with Hinduism, according to advocate Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was initially appointed by the Varanasi court as a commissioner to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex but was later removed for disclosing the information.

According to the Mishra report, the three to four sculptures with Sindoor markings and a stone slab that resembles a “Choukhat” are thought to be “Sringar Gouri.”

The Gyanvapi mosque, according to the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, is a Waqf property, hence the maintainability of the argument is in doubt.

A lawyer for the Hindu side named Madan Mohan Yadav asserted that the mosque was built after the temple was destroyed.

The petitioners claim that the mosque complex contains a so-called Jyotirling of Lord Vishwanath in Kashi.
The petitioner also asserted that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb erected the Gyanvapi Mosque in 1669 while demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The petitioner requests that the court rule that Muslims do not have the right to occupy the Gyanvapi mosque and to forbid their admission.

In the meantime, the defence attorney claimed that there was never a temple present in the Gyanvapi complex and that the mosque has been present there ever since.

Notably, the Supreme Court announced on July 21 that it would wait for the Varanasi district court to rule on the petition filed by the Gyanvapi mosque committee.

Following the conclusion of the hearings before the district court, the SC bench subsequently postponed the issue for further hearing in the first week of October.

The Supreme Court on May 20, shifted the case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge, reasoning that it would be preferable for a senior judicial officer with at least 25 to 30 years of experience to oversee this case given its “complexities and sensitivity.”

The decision also ruled that no restrictions of any kind should be placed on Muslims who wish to perform namaz or other religious rituals inside the mosque.

The Places of Worship Act of 1991 does not prohibit the process of determining a place of worship’s religious character, according to the supreme court.

After the committee designated by a district court to do a video surgery of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex presented its findings on May 19, the SC rendered its decision.

The top court had mandated that the May 17 interim order protecting the area where the Shivling was discovered and allowing Muslims access for namaz continue in effect until the suit’s maintainability was determined, and then for an additional eight weeks to give parties time to pursue legal remedies.

A petition by the Mosque Management Committee, which contested the civil judge’s decision to allow recording inside the mosque, brought the case to the Supreme Court.

The ruling allowed for the compound of the mosque, which is next to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, to be inspected, surveyed, and videotaped in order to gather proof of the suspected presence of Hindu deity statues there.

The petitioners claimed that the filming violated the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which upholds any place of worship’s standing as a religious institution as of August 15, 1947.

However, following the inspection, the attorneys for the Hindu side said that a shivling had been discovered on the mosque grounds. When they submitted a request for the shivling’s protection, the civil judge ordered Varanasi’s district magistrate to shut off the location where the shivling was spotted. Additionally, it ordered the CRPF’s deployment to guard the cordoned area and forbade anybody from accessing it.