This post 16 Important Dates – Gyanvapi Masjid News is about a controversy like Babri Masjid-Ram Janmobhumi. In Varanasi, one of the world’s oldest living cities, Hindus and Muslims have prayed close to each other in a temple and a mosque. Now, a dispute about the original structure of the place, which many Hindus claimed was a Shiva Temple, and that the mosque was built destructing the temple by Emperor Aurangzeb in the 17th Century. The matter is now in Court. In “15 Important Dates – Gyanvapi Masjid News” tracking the dates from when the dispute erupted way back in 1936.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 1st Important Date
The Year 1936
One Deen Mohammad filed a civil suit (No. 62) in a Varanasi Court appealing for an order declaring the title of land around the disputed Gyanvapi to the Waqf board. He also prayed for the right to worship by the Muslims in that land.
The court found that the mosque built on the site of a Hindu temple. The Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in the seventeenth century demolished a portion of Kashi Viswanath Temple to build the Mosque.
Deen Mohammad’s appeal was dismissed.
Deen Mohammad moved to The Allahabad High Court in 1937.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 2nd Important Date
The Year 1937
In his appeal No. 466 of 1937, Deen Mohammad prayed for relief on the following ground:
(a) It may be declared that the land bearing no. 9130, situate at …..Benaras, measuring 1 bijha…. together with the encloser all-round……..and other Musalmans and the religious and legal rights as the need and occasion arise.
(b) ……If in the opinion of the Court the plaintiffs are not
Deen Mohammad’s appeal was rejected.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 3rd Important Date
The Year 1991
In 1991, a Hindu priest sought permission from the District Court to worship in the Gyanvapi Mosque area.
Numerous other applications flooded the court this time around saying that the Gyanvapi Masjid was built in the 17th century on the orders of Mughal Empire Aurangzeb. The Masjid was built by demolishing a part of the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir.
Taking note of the similarity of the Babri Masjid-Ram Temple row with the Gyanvapi dispute, the then central government passed the “Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991”. The law made provisions to prohibit the alteration of all religious places as they existed on 15th August 1947 – the day India gained independence from British rule.
Vijay Shankar Rastogi, a lawyer from Varanasi who appeared before the lower court, was one of these petitioners. Rastogi filed the lawsuit on the ground alleging that Maharaja Vikramaditya built the temple on the site of the present mosque roughly 2,050 years ago.
He demanded the right of the entire land be given to the Hindus for worshipping. He argued since the mosque built destroying Kashi Viswanath Mandir, partially, the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 not applicable in this case.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 4th Important Date
The Year 1997
Following the proceedings in 1997, a Varanasi trial court found that the petitioners’ remedy limited under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
5th Important Date in the matter of Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute:
The Year 1998
The Allahabad High Court stayed the proceedings allowing a petition by the Anjuman Intejamia Masajid (AIM) Committee which oversees the Gyanvapi matter. The argument put forward by the committee that the dispute could not be settled in civil court according to Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 6th Important Date
The Supreme Court verdict on the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi issue came in 2019. One month after that verdict in December 2019, Advocate Rastogi filed a fresh application before a Varanasi Court on behalf of the Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Lord Vishweshwar. He demanded an archaeological study of the Gyanvapi structure. It may be noted that an order passed by the Allahabad High Court in 1998 to collect evidence from the Gyanvapi complex to ascertain the religious nature of the site. The order could not be processed further for some legal complications in the lower court.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 7th Important Date
The Year 2021, On 08.04.21
On 8th April 2021, the Varanasi court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey. And to find out whether a century-old mosque actually was a temple before and submit its findings.
The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee opposed Rastogi’s petition and the Varanasi court’s decision for a survey of the mosque.
The dispute moved to the Allahabad High Court later. High Court granted an interim Stay on the instruction to the ASI to perform the survey after hearing all parties concerned. The High Court observed that the Places of Worship Act, 1991, bars any modification in the religious character of a place of worship from what it was on August 15, 1947.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 8th Important
DateThe Year 2021, On 18.04.21
On April 18, 2021, Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak filed a lawsuit in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, demanding the right to worship and perform rituals at Shringar Gauri, Lord Hanuman, Lord Ganesh, and Nandi on a regular basis. They also appealed to pass suitable order protecting opponents from harming the statues inside the disputed Gyanvapi complex.
Rakhi Singh (35) resides in Delhi and is the main petitioner and a founding member of the Vishwa Vedic Sanathan Sangh.
Sita Sahu (40) owns a modest general store from her home in Varanasi’s Chetganj area. Chetganj roughly 2 kilometers from the complex.
Manju Vyas (49) owns a beauty parlor 1.5 kilometers from the Gyanvapi complex.
Rekha Pathak is a housewife, who lives in the Hanuman Phatak area, close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Laxmi Devi (65) is the wife of VHP leader Sohan Lal Arya in Varanasi.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 9th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 08.04.22
On April 8, 2022, the court appointed Advocate Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra to inspect the site. Also, to “prepare videography of the action” and submit a report.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 10th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 21.04.22
On April 21, 2022, the mosque committee challenged this before the Allahabad High Court which dismissed the plea.
The committee then moved to the Supreme Court.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 11th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 26.04.22
On April 26, 2022, the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) of Varanasi, ordered videography of the Shringar Gauri temple in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex and adjoining places.
Though on 6th May 2022 the videography work started but delayed due to many reasons.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 12th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 12.05.22
On May 12, 2022, the Varanasi court further ordered to submit the detailed report by 17th May 2022.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 13th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 17.05.22
On May 17, 2022, the Supreme Court decline to stay proceedings before a Varanasi court on matters related to the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex. The Court asked the District Magistrate of Varanasi to take adequate measures to secure the area where a Shivling reportedly found during a video graphics survey of the mosque area without impeding or restricting the rights of Muslims to access for namaz.
Also, the Muslim side petitioned the Supreme Court to an immediate halt the survey. The court refused to do so without first hearing the matter properly. The case set to be heard by the Supreme Court on 19th May 2022.
As reported in the Times of India, 20 May 2022:
“On 19th May 2022, Supreme Court orders the transfer of the Gyanvapi mosque case to District Judge, Varanasi. Supreme Court orders that senior and experienced judicial officers of UP Judicial services will hear the case.”
“Supreme Court says ascertainment of religious character not barred under Section 3 of the 1991 Places of Worship Act.”
“SC bench of Justices Chandrachud, S. Kant, and P. Narasimha said that the district judge, on the matter being transferred to him. District Judge would decide on the priority mosque management committee’s plea that the suit not maintainable because of the bar under Protection of Places of Worship Act, 1991.”
“Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi for Masjid Committee tells Supreme Court that what found inside not a Shivling as per us. It a fountain, Wazu khana sealed and iron gates placed with heavy police presence.”
“Unless adequate arrangements for observance of wuzu made by the district magistrate, we direct the district magistrate, in consultation with the parties, to make appropriate arrangements for the observance, the order stated.”
“Supreme Court says its interim order of May 17 for protection of the Shivling area and free access to Muslims to offer namaz will continue.”
A wazukhana described as an ablution pond where worshippers wash before praying at the mosque.
A Shivlinga reportedly found in the Gyanvapi Mosque but the Muslim side claimed it a fountain. This now become a hot topic of discussion.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 14th Important Date
The Year 2022, On 30.05.2022
On 30.05.2022, The District Judge, Varanasi, hear the case filed by Rakshi Singh and others (CNR No. UPVR01-005871-2022) and ordered not to transfer the videography evidence to anybody other than the parties. The disputing parties also have to give an undertaking that they will not disclose the video graphics evidence other than to the court.
The court will hear further on 4th July 2022.
Excerpts from the E-Court website:
OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF DISTRICT COURTS
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 15th Important Date
The Year 2022. On 1st July 2022
The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the matter on 1st July 2022, in response to an appeal of Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain from the side of the respondent. Advocate Jain made the request for adjournment of further hearing at Varanasi Court, in view of the apprehension expressed by the other side, they should not press for a hearing before the trial court on Thursday.
Gyanvapi Masjid News: 16th Important Date
The Year On 12th September 2022
Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha dismissed the petition by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which controls the 17th-century Gyanvapi mosque, and argued that the Hindu women’s plea was not maintainable for being in contravention of the 1991 Places of Worship Act and two other laws.
The court held that right to worship is a civil right that falls under the jurisdiction of the civil court. It also emphasized that the Hindu plaintiffs were not seeking a title of the property or a declaration that the disputed property is a temple. “The plaintiffs are claiming only right to worship at the disputed property,” it added.
The court fixed the next date of hearing for September 22, when the petition of the Hindu side will be taken up on its merits.
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