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Gyanvapi Mosque Case: Hindus Can Continue Prayers in Cellar, Allahabad HC Dismisses Muslim Side Plea – News18

Curated By: Sanstuti Nath

Last Updated: February 26, 2024, 10:51 IST

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee looks after the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque, which is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple (Image: PTI File)

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee looks after the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque, which is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple (Image: PTI File)

A bench of Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal on February 15 reserved the judgment after a four-day hearing on the appeal filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee

In a big victory for the Hindu side, the Allahabad High Court on Monday dismissed the Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s appeals challenging the Varanasi district judge’s orders allowing ‘Puja’ inside the ‘Vyas ka Tehkhana’ (southern cellar of the mosque). Noting that there is no merit in the plea filed by the Muslim side, the high court said worship in the “Vyas Tehkhana” will continue.

“After going through the entire records of the case and considering the arguments of the parties concerned, the court did not find any ground to interfere in the judgment passed by the district judge on January 17, appointing the Varanasi district magistrate as the receiver of the property, as well as the order dated January 31 by which the district court permitted puja in the tehkhana.” Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal said while dismissing both the appeals.

Justice Agarwal had reserved his verdict in the matter on February 15 after hearing the counsel for the parties.

“The judge dismissed the pleas that the Muslim side had filed against the District Judge’s order…It means that the puja will continue as it is. District Magistrate will continue as the Receiver of the ‘tehkhana’…This is a big victory for our Sanatana Dharma…They (Muslim side) can go for a review of the decision. Puja will continue,” said Prabhash Pandey, the advocate for the Hindu side.

The appeals before the high court were filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee which manages the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

Muslim Side Plea In Allahabad HC

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which looks after the affairs of the mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, had moved the high court on February 2, after the Supreme Court refused to urgently hear its plea against the Varanasi district court order allowing Puja in Vyas Ji ka Tehkhana, and asked it to approach the high court.

The Varanasi district court ruled on January 31 that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque. The mosque has four ‘tahkhanas’ (cellars) in the basement, of which one is still in the possession of the Vyas family, who used to live there.

The court directed the authorities to make arrangements for the worship of the idols by plaintiff Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas and a priest nominated by Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust within seven days.

Following the verdict, the puja was performed in the Gyanvapi compound earlier this month for the first time in three decades.

Gyanvapi Case

The court’s order followed a petition filed by Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas against the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee. According to the lawsuit, priest Somnath Vyas used to perform prayers there till 1993 when the cellar was closed by the authorities. Shailendra Kumar Pathak is the maternal grandson of Somnath Vyas.

On February 2, the Allahabad High Court dismissed the Muslim side’s plea to stay the Varanasi court’s January 31 order allowing the Hindu side to offer prayers in the southern cellar of Gyanvapi mosque.

The high court had granted time until February 6 for the Masjid Committee to amend its pleas to include a challenge to a January 17 order consequent to which the January 31 order was passed.

The Court on February 12 heard an appeal moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee challenging the Varanasi District Court’s January 31 order allowing Hindus to perform prayers in the southern cellar of the mosque–Vyas Ji ka Tehkhana.

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