The Varanasi district court on Monday resumed hearing on the arguments of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, challenging the maintainability of the case and seeking permission to offer prayers to Shringar Gauri and other deities in Gyanvapi mosque compound. The matter will be heard next on July 12.
The Muslim side has some legal submissions left, which will be done on July 12.
The hearing began at around 2 pm in the court of Dr AK Vishvesha, District Judge of the Varanasi court. Police personnel have been deployed outside the courtroom and noone except the lawyers from both the sides have been allowed.
As per the latest reports, Abhay Nath Yadav, the lawyer of the Mosque committee is arguing. The Muslim side is arguing on all the cases and issues related to Gyanvapi Mosque from 1669 to 2022.
The Muslim side has argued against the maintainability of the plea. The Muslim side has been referring to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and its Section 4 which 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.
However, Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi, an advocate presenting for the Hindu petitioners said, “We have many arguments to prove that the case is maintainable. We will present our arguments in court and prove it.”
V Jain, who is also presenting from Hindu side’s said that the case is maintainable and added that their demand to grant worship is legally valid.
The district court will also look into the leaking of video footage of court-mandated Gyanvapi mosque survey in this case following its release by the court to four plaintiffs on May 30.
Despite the court warning, the video content of the advocate commissioner’s report was leaked immediately after the copy of it was given to the hindu litigants in the case. After the leak, the Hindu side appeared before the court and claimed that the leak didn’t happen at their end.
The civil court is hearing a suit by a group of women filed in August 2021 seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located on an outer wall of the mosque. The mosque management committee had opposed filming inside the mosque and also accused the court-appointed commissioner of partiality.
Amid the opposition, the survey was stalled for a while. The video graphics survey of the mosque was ordered on April 18, 2021, by the civil judge (senior division) Varanasi following the plea by Delhi residents Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, and others. The original suit was filed in 1991 in the Varanasi district court for the restoration of the ancient temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque currently stands.