Lucknow: The Varanasi district court Monday agreed to hear the plea filed by five women seeking the right to worship within the old Gyanvapi Mosque complex and dismissed the petition filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee challenging the suit.
The five women petitioners had approached the Varanasi court demanding that they be allowed to offer prayers and rituals before Hindu deities in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex. The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee had, however, said the Gyanvapi Mosque was a Waqf property and questioned the maintainability of the women’s plea.
In its 26-page order, a copy of which is with ThePrint, the court said in view of the discussions (arguments) and analysis, it had come to the conclusion that the suit of the plaintiffs is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 (Act no. 42 of 1991), The Waqf Act 1995 (Act no. 43 of 1995) and the UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 (Act no. 29 of 1983), and the application 35C filed by the defendant no. 4 (Intezamia Committee) is liable to be dismissed.
“The application 35C filed by the defendant no. 4 under Order 7 Rule 11 C.P.C. is hereby dismissed. Fix 22.09.2022 for filing written statement and framing the issues,” the court order read.
Speaking to ThePrint, Sudhir Tripathi, one of the lawyers for the women petitioners, said the court of Justice Ajay Krishna Vishvesha first read the arguments presented by the two sides before dismissing the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid committee, which manages the affairs of the Gyanvapi Mosque.
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, general secretary of the All India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board, called for an out-of-court settlement of the matter.
A videography survey of the Gyanvapi complex was ordered by a local Varanasi court in May, following which claims were made by the Hindu side that a structure, resembling a Shivling, was found in the mosque complex. The Masajid Committee had contested that it was a fountain and not a Shivling.
Also read: ‘Bid to please Yogi?’ Oppn tears into proposal to change ‘Muslim’ names of wards in CM’s Gorakhpur