Gyanvapi Case to Continue in Court, Mosque Committee’s Challenge Rejected

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Published on: 31 May 2023 at 19:54 IST

The Allahabad High Court dealt a blow to the mosque committee in a significant case involving the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi.

On Wednesday, the court dismissed a plea that sought to invalidate a civil suit currently being heard in a local court.

The civil suit, filed by a group of Hindu women worshippers, aims to secure the right to pray in the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi. The Allahabad High Court ruled that the lawsuit is valid, allowing it to proceed in the Varanasi District Court.

The litigants in the case, namely Lakshmi Devi, Rekha Pathak, Sita Sahu, and Manju Vyas, initiated the legal action in August 2021, seeking permission to worship goddess Shringar Gauri and other deities whose idols they believe are located within the mosque’s complex.

The Varanasi district judge upheld the maintainability of the case in September 2022.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) Committee and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board appealed to the high court to overturn the September 2022 ruling, arguing that the case is not maintainable under the Places of Worship Act of 1991 and the Central Waqf Act of 1995.

Following the arguments presented, the Allahabad High Court reserved its decision on December 23, 2022, regarding the case.

This case emerged as a result of a ruling in April 2021, when the Varanasi court instructed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a thorough survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex following a petition filed by Hindu groups. The current case is among several that have stemmed from this ruling.

There is a pre-existing legal order that permits hundreds of Hindu women to engage in symbolic worship of the goddess Shringar Gauri once a year within the complex.

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