Varanasi Court Rejects Masjid Committee's Plea Against Maintainability Of Hindu Worshippers' Suit
Image Courtesy: National Herald
The Varanasi district court in Uttar Pradesh on Monday dismissed a petition filed by the Anjuman Islami Masjid committee challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women to seek the right to worship in the Gyanvapi Mosque premises, the LiveLaw reported.
District Judge A K Vishvesh ordered that the court will continue to hear the petition seeking the right to worship Hindu deities in the temple. He also ruled that the Hindu women’s petition is not barred by the Places of Worship Act, 1991, or the Waqf Act, as argued by the Anjuman Islami Masjid, as per the LiveLaw report.
The Places of Worship Act was enacted to prohibit conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 -- the day India became independent from the British regime.
In its plea, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had also argued that the Gyanvapi Mosque is a Waqf property and questioned the maintainability of the Hindu petitioners’ plea.
Five women had filed the petition seeking the court’s permission to conduct daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are claimed to be located on an outer wall of the mosque. They have claimed that a Hindu temple once existed on the current mosque premises and it was allegedly demolished by Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, and after that, the present mosque structure was built.
Ahead of the court order, due to the communal sensitivity of the matter, authorities imposed prohibitory orders and tightened the security in Varanasi.
Police Commissioner A Satish Ganesh told PTI on Sunday that prohibitory orders had been issued in the Varanasi commissionerate and officers had been asked to interact with religious leaders in their respective areas to ensure that peace is maintained.
According to PTI, a lower court had earlier ordered a video survey of the mosque complex, which was completed on May 16 and the report was presented before the court on May 19.
The Hindu side had claimed in the lower court that a Shivling was found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque-Shringar Gauri complex, but it was contested by the Muslim side.
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