Gyanvapi| Allahabad High Court Dismisses Mosque Committee's Revision Plea Against Maintainability Of Hindu Women’s Suit

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Five Hindu women devotees have filed a suit before the Varanasi Court for permission to perform rituals of Hindu deities residing inside the Gyanvapi complex all year long.

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed the revision plea filed by the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi against the order passed by the Varanasi District and Sessions Judge rejecting its application challenging the maintainability of the suit by five Hindu women.

Five Hindu women have filed a suit before the local court at Varanasi where they have alleged that Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman & other visible and invisible deities reside inside the Gyanvapi Complex, therefore, they should be allowed to perform all rituals of these deities inside the complex all year long. Currently, permission is granted to perform the rituals of Hindu pooja at Gyanvapi only once a year.

The bench of Justice JJ Munir passed the order today which had been reserved in December last year. 

On September 12, 2022, Dr. A.K. Vishvesha, District and Sessions Judge, Varanasi, rejected the mosque committee's application filed under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure questioning the maintainability of the suit by the Hindu women.

The judge held that the suit is not barred by any of the three Acts i.e. the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991; the Waqf Act, 1995 and the Uttar Pradesh Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983 as alleged by the mosque committee. 

Regarding the bar imposed by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, the judge had categorically opined that since the plaintiff's has made averments in the plaint that even after 15th August 1947 they were worshiping Maa Srinagar Gauri, Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman daily up to the year 1993, therefore, it could not be said that the suit was barred under the said statute. 

However, the mosque committee challenged the order before the high court. 

During the course of the hearing in the matter, on December 7, an old map of the Vishweshwar temple was presented by the counsel for the Hindu devotees which indicated the places on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi premises where worship of Hindu deities used to take place.

To be noted, another single judge bench of the high court has reserved the judgment in the five petitions that had been clubbed together pertaining to the land dispute at Gyanvapi. The issue in the petitions mainly concerns a survey of the Gyanvapi complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Also, the bench of Justice JJ Munir is seized with another civil revision petition filed by the Hindu plaintiffs against the order of District Judge, Varanasi dated October 14, 2022. The district judge had dismissed the Hindu plaintiffs' application seeking a scientific probe of the structure (alleged Shivlingam) found at Gyanvapi, for evaluation of its age.

Case Title: Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi Vs Smt. Rakhi Singh And 9 Others