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Gyanvapi Mosque case: Varanasi court upholds maintainability of petition by 5 Hindu women, hearing starts on Sep 22

Five women had sought permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are claimed to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

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The Varanasi district court on Monday rejected the Muslim side’s petition challenging the maintainability of the plea in the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri case. The court will next hear the matter on September 22. 

Five women had filed the petition seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are claimed to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and has questioned the maintainability of the plea.

District Judge A K Vishvesh had last month reserved the order till September 12 in the communally sensitive matter. Advocate Mirajuddin Siddique, on behalf of the committee, said the parties will approach the High Court against Monday’s ruling.

Elated over the court order, Hindu petitioner Sohan Lal Arya said: "It's a win for the Hindu community. The next hearing is on Sep 22. It's a foundation stone for the Gyanvapi temple. Appeal to people to maintain peace."

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee has said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and has questioned the maintainability of the plea, which it said it specifically barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. 

The case is being heard by the district court following an apex court order. The Supreme Court had ordered: "Keeping the complexity and sensitivity of the matter in view, the civil suit before the civil judge in Varanasi shall be heard before a senior and experienced judicial officer of the UP judicial service."

The top court said it will wait for the Varanasi district court's order and adjourned the case to October 20.

Earlier, a lower court had ordered a videography survey of the complex. The survey work was completed on May 16 and the report was presented in the court on May 19.

The Hindu side had claimed in the lower court that a Shivling was found during the videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri complex but it was contested by the Muslim side.

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