'Unlike Babri demolition, we are fighting case for the Lord as per law': Adv Rastogi, next friend of Lord Vishweshwar argues in Kashi temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute case(s)

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Advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi, the appointed next friend of Lord Vishweshwar, today told the court that the hindu parties are fighting for the cause of the lord as per the law. He made the statement in the ongoing hearing before the Allahabad High Court in the case(s) related to the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute of Varanasi.

"Here, we are fighting the cause of the Lord as per the law. No structure is being taken down as was the case in the Babri Maszid matter," Rastogi said.

At the outset, when the matter came up for hearing, Justice Prakash Padia enquired as to whether the case should be sent to Supreme Court in the light of a ‘Shivling’ being discovered at he disputed site of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. To this, Rastogi asked the court not to put the dispute off anymore. Justice Padia however clarified that he was merely asking for suggestions.

Rastogi, while addressing the court on the religious character of the disputed site, submitted that the character of the land has not changed since the temple has been in existence since ancient times till now.

He submitted that as per the final decree in Deed Mohammad’s suit in 1943, the disputed property belongs to Muslims and the mosque, he however read the Muslim Waqfs Act, 1960, and told the court that Waqf law is not applicable to Hindu properties as land belongs to Lord Vishveshwar temple.

Referring to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, Rastogi told that court that the decision regarding the nature of a place of worship can be rectified.

"Can reciting Namaz at a temple, change its religious character? If a Muslim offers Namaz in a temple, he is ousted from Islam, therefore, no Muslim can offer Namaz in a temple,” Rastogi argued.

Rastogi further submitted that "the property is in the name of the deity. Muslims have no connection with the same.”

Upon hearing these submissions, Justice Padia expressed his inclination to reserve judgment in the matter, however the lawyers from both the sides objected to the same. The matter has now been adjourned till Friday,  May 20, 2022 for further hearing.


Before the Varanasi local court, the Ancient Idol of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar and 5 others had filed a suit in 1991 seeking removal of the Gyanvapi Mosque and restoration of the land to Hindus.

Notably, the proceedings in this suit before the Varanasi local court have already been stayed by the high court. The lower court order whereby the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was directed to conduct a survey of the Mosque complex has also been stayed.

The same bench had held in September 2021 that the court below should wait for the verdict in the petitions pending before the High Court and not proceed further in the matter till the time a judgment is delivered. Five matters involving the same issue have been clubbed by the high court and are being beard together.

Interestingly, in a seperate case, initiated by 5 devotees of the goddess Sringar Gauri and other deities, the local court had appointed an advocate commissioner for "inspection & videography" of the "disputed site” on August 18, 2021 and had directed the authorities to submit a report by May 17. Today, in pursuance of the same, on 3rd day of the said survey, a Shiv Linga was found at the disputed premises. 

Case Title: Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Varanasi v. Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar And 5 Others and connected matters