Law & Judiciary

    Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi mosque cellar: Allahabad HC to hear masjid committee's appeal today

    The Hawk
    February6/ 2024
    Last Updated:

    Allahabad High Court denies immediate relief in Gyanvapi Masjid case, Varanasi. The committee challenges Varanasi court's order allowing Hindu prayers. Court hearing set for February 6.

    Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi

    Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court on Friday did not give any immediate relief to the Gyanvapi Masjid committee which had challenged a Varanasi district court order allowing Hindu prayers in a cellar of the mosque.

    The court will now hear the matter on February 6.

    Justice Rohit Ranjan Agrawal passed the order while hearing an appeal filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which looks after the affairs of the mosque in Varanasi.

    The committee had moved the high court within hours of the Supreme Court refusing to hear its plea against the Varanasi district court order and asking it to approach the high court.

    The Varanasi court had ruled on Wednesday that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.

    The court allowed regular worship to be conducted by a 'pujari' nominated by the Kashi Vishwanath temple trust and the petitioner who claimed his grandfather offered puja before the idols in the cellar up to December 1993.

    A puja was held in the mosque's southern cellar on Wednesday night, about eight hours after the Varanasi district court order.

    Appearing on behalf of the committee, advocate S F A Naqvi submitted before the court that the order was passed in a 'very hurried manner' and on the day of retirement of the judge concerned.

    He further submitted that while passing the impugned order, the district judge did not consider their documents.

    Varanasi district judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha retired from service on January 31.

    Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, pointed out that the district court by the means of an order dated January 17 had appointed the Varanasi district magistrate receiver of the property and in pursuance of the order, he took possession of the same on January 24.

    The order passed on January 31 is only a consequential order. The order dated January 17 has not been challenged and thus the appeal is not maintainable, he argued.

    On this, Naqvi said he has to move an amendment application challenging the January 17 order also.

    According to the order, the advocate general has given an undertaking that the district administration of Varanasi will maintain law and order in pursuance of the January 31 order.

    Jain also submitted that by permitting puja, no harm has been caused to the other side because puja was going on in the past and was stopped in December 1993.

    In the appeal filed before the court, Board of Trustees, Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Shailendra Kumar Pathak, head priest, Acharya Ved Vyas Peeth Temple Complex, have been made respondents.