Allahabad High Court Reserves Judgment On Gyanvapi Mosque Puja Dispute

Allahabad High Court Reserves Judgment On Gyanvapi Mosque Puja Dispute

The mosque committee contested the district court's order, prompting the Supreme Court to redirect the matter to the Allahabad High Court, where proceedings are currently underway.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Thursday, February 15, 2024, 08:40 PM IST
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Gyanvapi Masjid | File Photo

The Allahabad High Court has reserved its judgment on a contentious plea filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, challenging a district court's order permitting puja in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.

On January 31, the Varanasi district court granted permission for puja rituals in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The cellar was opened the same night, and a priest conducted prayers. This decision came during the hearing of a plea by Shailendra Kumar Pathak, who asserted that his grandfather, priest Somnath Vyas, had performed prayers in the cellar until December 1993.

The mosque committee contested the district court's order, prompting the Supreme Court to redirect the matter to the Allahabad High Court, where proceedings are currently underway.

In a statement Hari Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu plaintiff, stated, "The arguments concluded on Thursday, and the court has reserved the judgment. No specific date has been set for the judgment's announcement."

The case was presided over by Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal, with representation from both parties.

On January 17, the district court appointed the district magistrate of Varanasi as the receiver of the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque, following a lawsuit filed by Shailendra Kumar Pathak, head priest of the Acharya Ved Vyas Peeth temple.

Moreover, on January 25, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) submitted its report on a scientific survey of the mosque complex to the plaintiffs. The report concluded that "there existed a Hindu temple prior to the construction of the existing structure" at the site. This conclusion came after the court, responding to a petition filed by five women devotees, instructed the ASI to survey the Gyanvapi mosque complex, excluding the wazukhana, a site used for ritual ablutions before namaz.

The judgment by the Allahabad High Court holds significant implications for the ongoing dispute over religious practices at the Gyanvapi mosque, a site of historical and religious importance.

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