The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday rejected the petitions filed by the Muslim side, challenging the maintainability of the civil suit filed with regard to the ownership of the Varanasi Gyanvapi complex and the validity of the Allahabad High Court ordering a survey by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). With this judgement the Court rejected pleas filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee challenging a total of 5 suits concerning Gyanvapi title dispute
Contesting the suit, it has been the primary contention of the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board that the suit is prohibited by the Places of Worship Act (Special Provisions) Act of 1991. The court, while hearing a batch of petitions including a plea challenging a 1991 civil suit filed by Hindu worshippers seeking the right to worship in the Gyanvapi mosque, noted that civil suits are not barred by the Places of Worship Act.
Lawyer Vijay Shankar Rastogi said, “Five writ petitions are pending in the High Court. Out of which 2 petitions have been filed by UP Sunni Waqf Board and Anjuman Intezamia Masjid. The old writ petitions have been filed against the maintainability of the suit. These 2 petitions are against the 1998 judgment of the District Judge, Varanasi…” Ashok Kumar Singh, Allahabad High Court Bar Association president said that this is a historic verdict as the matter was pending for long. The advocate said that the Muslim side can approach a higher court.
Last month, the Supreme Court refused to interfere with the order passed by the Chief Justice of the Allahabad High Court, Justice Pritinker Diwaker, transferring the case relating to the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi Mosque dispute to another bench from a single-judge bench. A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices JB Pardiwala, and Manoj Misra dismissed an appeal filed by Anjuman Intezemia Masjid, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, challenging the administrative decision of the high court chief justice’s transfer order.