On Monday, a Varanasi Fast-Track Civil Court refused to issue an order in a suit seeking ad-interim relief to allow Hindu prayers inside the Gyanvapi mosque until the main suit in the dispute is resolved. The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) (FTC) Mahendra Kumar Pandey heard the plea in the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute and directed the plaintiffs to serve a copy of their suit and all relevant documents to the defendants and ask them to file their objections. The case has now been scheduled for a hearing on July 8.
The court was hearing a lawsuit filed by Kiran Singh, who claimed that a “shivling” had been discovered inside the mosque and that Hindus should be allowed to pray there.
The suit also requested an injunction prohibiting the defendants from prohibiting Hindu worshippers from visiting the mosque and offering prayers. Following the plaintiffs’ arguments, the court heard from the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee and other defendants, who claimed they had not been served with a copy of the suit.
Devotees of deities would be deprived of their right to worship and other religious performances if the main suit, filed by five Hindu women, is not resolved in a timely manner, according to the plea.
“Worshippers of the Hindu community will suffer irreparable injuries if Sewa pooja, Raj bhog, arties, and other religious worships are not allowed to be performed,” the plea states. The Muslim side has argued that the plea is unsustainable because the Places of Worship Act 1991 prohibits any place of worship from being converted and requires it to maintain its religious character as it was on August 15, 1947.
During the hearing, Senior Advocate Mumtaz Ahmed, one of the Masjid Committee’s lawyers, stated that they requested a copy of the suit as well as all relevant documents. The court decided that passing an order on the suit without giving the defendants an opportunity to make their arguments would be unjust, so the case was postponed until July to hear the defendants.