Gyanvapi Mosque panel urges Varanasi court to dismiss lawsuit, next hearing in July

The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, the committee that runs the Gyanvapi Mosque, on Monday urged the Varanasi District Court to reject the women’s petition seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri on the exterior wall of the mosque compound, saying that the women’s complaint had been filed in “individual capacity” could not apply to their “prayer for all Hindus and followers of the Hindu religion”.

The case will be heard on July 4 when the mosque committee, which challenged the maintainability of the lawsuit, will resume its argument. While pointing out what he called the “wrong rule” under which the complaint was filed, he also claimed that the petitioners failed to provide details of a 1936 ruling on the right of Muslims to offer namaz at the mosque.

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Challenging the maintainability of the complaint filed by five Hindu women, Abhay Nath Yadav, lawyer for Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, said the petitioners filed the complaint individually. “But after reading their entire costume, it is clear that they have made a prayer for all Hindus and followers of the Hindu religion. Such action cannot be brought on an individual basis. Such a case is filed as a public lawsuit. Also, before filing a public lawsuit, one needs permission from the court. Therefore, I argued that the lawsuit of the five women should be dismissed,” he said.

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In their petition, the women, he said, had referred to the civil suit of Deen Mohammad in 1936 and said that 12 witnesses in that case had proved that Shringar Gauri and other deities were worshiped there, that it was a temple.

“They mentioned the witness statement to strengthen their case, but they did not mention the court order in the Deen Mohammad case… In the Deen Mohammad case, the judgment was that the mosque, his court and land were Wakf properties of the Hanafi Muslims. Moreover, Muslims have the right to practice Urs and perform religious activities like offering namaz there… But they (the petitioners) hide this important fact. I argued this in court,” Yadav said.

He presented his case for more than two hours in the court of District Judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha, who is hearing the case as instructed by the Supreme Court.

“Our arguments are not over. The next court date is July 4 and our arguments will continue on that date,” Yadav said.

District government lawyer (civilian) Mahendra Prasad Pandey also said that the mosque committee lawyer will continue the arguments on July 4, the next court date.

Lawyers for the five female plaintiffs will then present their submissions in support of the maintainability of their lawsuit.

Meanwhile, a fast-track court on Monday listed for July 8 a motion seeking permission to worship a Shivling allegedly found in the Gyanvapi compound during a video investigation, and to prevent the entry of Muslims.

In the lawsuit, the petitioner also demanded that the entire complex be handed over to the Hindus.

Lawyer Shivam Gaur filed the complaint on behalf of Kiran Singh, International Secretary General of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh.

Gaur said the court ordered the mosque committee and other respondents to file their objections to the application. He said the hearing in this case will take place on July 8.

Raees Ahmed, a lawyer for the mosque committee, said: “We have not received the copy of the petition. The court ordered that a copy be provided to us so that we could file an objection.