The Varanasi district and sessions court in UP today dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s challenge against the civil suits that questioned the Gyanvapi mosque’s title and the land surrounding it.
A few Hindu women had filed petitions seeking the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri on the outer wall of the mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Uttar Pradesh.
The dismissal by district judge A K Vishvesh means that the civil suits will be heard in detail and an examination of evidence will follow. The judge began hearing the pleas in June. The media was not allowed to witness the proceedings.
On May 20, the Supreme Court, underlining the “complexity of the issues involved in the civil suit”, transferred the Gyanvapi dispute that was pending before the Varanasi civil judge (senior division) to the district judge.
While the Hindu side said the mosque was built on the site of a temple, the Muslim side said the mosque was built on waqf premises and that the Places of Worship Act barred changing its character.
In July, the Supreme Court said that before intervening in the matter, it would wait for the Varanasi district court’s decision on the mosque committee’s objections to the civil suits. A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud, Surya Kant and P S Narasimha then adjourned the matter to October 20.
The SC bench said all issues would have to be first argued before the district court. The mosque committee challenged the survey of the Gyanvapi complex, where a Shivling was said to have been found.