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Gyanvapi row: Allahabad court to hear petition filed by waqf board today

The Allahabad High Court had previously reserved its judgment on the maintainability of the lawsuit pending in the Varanasi court. The court will now hear all related matters together

File photo of the Gyanvapi Mosque (Photo: PTI)

File photo of the Gyanvapi Mosque (Photo: PTI)

BS Web Team New Delhi

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The Allahabad High Court will today hear a petition challenging the maintainability of a suit pending before a Varanasi court seeking the restoration of a temple at the site of the Gyanvapi mosque. The petition was filed by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board and the Gyanvapi masjid management committee.

The petitioners have also challenged an order of the Varanasi court directing The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. Justice Prakash Padia had reserved his judgment in the matter on November 28, 2022, but in an order dated May 24, he said that more clarifications are required from the counsels for the parties. Keeping this in mind, the court put up the matter for further hearing on Friday.

The Allahabad High Court had previously reserved its judgment on the maintainability of the lawsuit pending in the Varanasi court. The court will now hear all related matters, including the maintainability of the lawsuit and the ASI survey order, together.

On April 8, 2021, the Varanasi court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The order was made while hearing a suit seeking the restoration of the temple at the site. However, the order was challenged by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM), the Gyanvapi management committee, and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board in the high court.

The Allahabad High Court stayed the Varanasi court's order on September 9, 2021. The stay order was extended from time to time during the hearing of the matter.

On November 28, 2022, after hearing the petition filed by the waqf board and the AIM, Justice Padia issued a directive that the interim stay on the Varanasi court order asking the ASI to conduct a survey of the complex will continue till a judgment is delivered.

On May 19, the Supreme Court deferred the scientific survey to determine the age of the 'Shivling' found at Gyanvapi mosque, saying that "we need to tread carefully in this matter".

The top court was hearing a plea challenging the May 12 Allahabad High Court order to conduct a "scientific survey" to determine the age of the structure. The plea was filed in court by the mosque management committee.

On Tuesday, the Varanasi district court passed an order, clubbing the seven suits related to the dispute into one, and will now hear the suits, which were filed in different local courts of Varanasi in 2021 and 2022, together.

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First Published: May 26 2023 | 12:02 PM IST

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