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  4. Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court to commence hearing on May 26, to decide maintainability issue first

Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court to commence hearing on May 26, to decide maintainability issue first

The survey of the entire Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi was ordered by a local court on a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on the mosque's outer walls.

Vani Mehrotra Edited by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Updated on: May 24, 2022 15:52 IST
Gyanvapi mosque case
Image Source : PTI

Gyanvapi Masjid case: Police personnel stand guard outside the Varanasi District Court

Highlights

  • A fresh plea seeking permission to worship the Shivling found at Gyanpavi premises was also filed
  • The apex court had transferred the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case to a district judge
  • The spot where Shivling was found was sealed by the administration following court order

The Varanasi district court on Tuesday said that it will commence hearing in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case on May 26 (Thursday). The court will hear the Muslim side's plea under order 7 11 CPC regarding the rejection of the suit.

Defendants which include including the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee have questioned the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women. The women have sought permission from the court to allow them to offer prayers at the Mata Shringar Gauri temple daily inside the Gyanvapi Masjid complex which stands close to the famed Kashi Vishwanath temple on the western bank of river Ganga.

"The hearing on the Muslim side's plea under order 7 11 CPC regarding the rejection of suit will take place on May 26th. Cour asked both sides to file an objection to the commission report, and submit the report within one week," Hindu side's Advocate Vishu Jain told reporters outside the court.

The court also invited objections from both parties to the survey report of the Gyanvapi Masjid by a court-appointed commission. The objections have to be filed within seven days. 

While hearing the case yesterday, the court had reserved its order on the limited question as to whether it should decide on Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application filed by the Anjuman Committee first or to take into account the commission survey report and invite objections to it.

Last week, the Supreme Court had 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.

Gyanvapi case: Petitions and arguments

The Hindu side argued that since a court-appointed commission has completed its survey work, the opponents should present their objections to it. Madan Mohan Yadav, a lawyer for the Hindu side said they pleaded to make available the commission's report and videography done by it to present its side on it.

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

A fresh petition was also moved by Dr Kulpati Tiwari, Mahant of Kashi Vishwanath temple, for regular "pujan" (worship) of the Shivling which he said was found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

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.

Also Read | Hindu devotees refer British era govt stand taken in 1936 suit over Gyanvapi mosque dispute

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