Gyanvapi mosque: Court to decide on survey report first

The case is a civil suit filed by Hindu devotees seeking the right to worship inside the mosque premises on the ground that it was a Hindu temple and still houses Hindu deities

FPJ BureauUpdated: Tuesday, May 24, 2022, 12:13 PM IST
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Gyanvapi Mosque | File

Varanasi: A Varanasi court hearing the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute will decide today whether to take the advocate commissioner’s survey report of the mosque into account and invite objections to the same before commencing the hearing of the application of the Muslim party regarding the maintainability of the suit, the Bar and Bench portal has reported.

District and Sessions Judge Dr AK Vishvesha will pass an order today on this limited aspect after the Hindu parties submitted on Monday that the advocate commissioner’s objections to the survey report should be heard first.

The case is a civil suit filed by Hindu devotees seeking the right to worship inside the mosque premises on the ground that it was a Hindu temple and still houses Hindu deities.

The Muslim parties have challenged the maintainability of the suit on ground that the Places of Worship Act, 1991, which was introduced at the height of the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, seeks to protect the status of all religious structures as they stood on August 15, 1947.

Section 4 of the Act states that the religious character of a place of worship existing on August 15, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day. It bars courts from entertaining cases regarding such places of worship. The provision further states that such cases already pending in courts would stand abated.

Earlier, a civil court had ordered a survey of the mosque by an advocate commissioner. It was, however, transferred to the District Judge by the Supreme Court.

The Hindu parties have now contended before the District Court that without taking into account the survey report, the maintainability of the suit cannot be decided, since the nature of the religious structure is the subject matter of the dispute.

The plaintiffs are 10 individuals acting as next friends of the deities claimed to be existing within the precincts of the mosque. They have claimed that a Jyotirlingam in the ancient temple was desecrated in 1669 under the orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb, but Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesh and other deities continued to exist.

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