Allahabad High Court Dismisses Muslim Side’s Petition, Allows Worship and Survey at Gyanvapi

The Allahabad High Court has recently made a significant ruling regarding the ongoing dispute between the Muslim and Hindu communities over the ownership of the Gyanvapi Mosque and its connection to the revered Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi. In a judgment delivered on Tuesday, the court rejected all petitions filed by the Muslim side challenging the Hindus’ plea to worship at the mosque.

The petitions were filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board and Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, both seeking to establish the ownership rights over the disputed site. However, the court dismissed these petitions and upheld the Hindus’ claim to worship at the Gyanvapi Mosque.

In addition to rejecting the ownership petitions, the court also addressed two other petitions questioning the maintainability of a 1991 civil suit filed by Hindu worshippers. It further dismissed three petitions challenging the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey order related to the site. Justice Rohit Ranjan Aggarwal, the single-judge bench presiding over the case, ordered the lower court to expedite the hearing and conclude it within six months.

Moreover, the court emphasized that if necessary, another survey could be conducted to ensure no aspect is left unexamined. The subsequent report from this survey would then be submitted to the Varanasi court, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the matter.

The Muslim side had contested the civil suit, arguing that it was prohibited under the 1991 Places of Worship Act. They also raised objections to the Varanasi court’s 2021 order of an ASI survey within the mosque complex. Contrarily, the Hindu side maintained that the Gyanvapi mosque is an intrinsic part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

The High Court, in its ruling, declared that the 1991 civil suit is indeed maintainable and not barred by the Places of Worship Act, thereby allowing the legal proceedings to move forward. This decision has significant implications as it paves the way for the Hindu worshippers to exercise their right to worship at the contested site.

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