The Allahabad High Court on Thursday ordered regular hearing in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi Masjid dispute case from March 29, 2022. Justice Prakash Padia gave this order while hearing a petition filed by Anjuman Intejamia Masjid in Varanasi. The court has already put a stay on the Archaeological Survey of India’s survey of the entire complex of the Gyanvapi mosque.
In the hearing of the case, the counsel for the Central Government argued that it is clear from the facts of the complaint that the temple of Lord Vishweshwar has been in existence since ancient times i.e. Satyuga and the self-styled god Vishweshwar is seated in that disputed structure. Therefore the disputed land itself is an internal part of Lord Vishweshwara. It is further argued that whatever the size of the temple, the basement of the ground floor is still in the possession of the plaintiff, which is a temple structure built before the 15th century. At the same time, the religious character of that place of worship, which was on 15th August, 1947, remains the same. Therefore the provisions of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 cannot be applied here.
However, the arguments could not be completed due to paucity of time and the court ordered the next hearing of the matter along with other related matters on March 29, 2022. It was also clarified that even after this the debate would continue on regular basis. Earlier, the court had accepted the petitioner’s request to make the central and state governments party to the petition.
According to the petitioner, a local court in Varanasi passed an order on April 8 directing the ASI to conduct the survey, which was illegal and an order outside its jurisdiction. It may be mentioned that a Varanasi court had on April 8, 2021 ordered the formation of a five-member committee consisting of two Hindu, two Muslim members and an archaeologist to conduct a comprehensive physical survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The original suit was filed in Varanasi in 1991, requesting restoration of the ancient temple where the Gyanvapi Masjid currently exists.