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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Will fight till last breath: Gyanvapi mosque committee on Allahabad HC order

The order has come to us and we will study it and decide in the committee meeting on what we have to do next. We will reach a decision by Wednesday evening, says Joint Secretary of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, Syed Muhammad Yasin

PTI Lucknow Published 19.12.23, 07:56 PM
Gyanvapi Mosque.

Gyanvapi Mosque. File picture

The Gyanvapi mosque management committee on Tuesday indicated that it will challenge the Allahabad High Court's decision on the maintainability of a 1991 suit, saying it will fight for justice till the last breath.

The high court dismissed pleas challenging the maintainability of a 1991 suit seeking the “restoration” of a temple where the Gyanvapi mosque now exists in Varanasi, observing that the “religious character” of a disputed place can only be decided by the court.

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"The order has come to us and we will study it and decide in the committee meeting on what we have to do next. We will reach a decision by Wednesday evening," Joint Secretary of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, Syed Muhammad Yasin, told PTI on the possibility of challenging the high court's decision in the Supreme Court.

"We realise that a decision has been given, but justice has not been done," he said. "We will fight the legal battle till our last breath." The high court on Tuesday dismissed five connected petitions filed over the years by the mosque management committee and the Uttar Pradesh Central Sunni Waqf Board.

It held that the suit filed before the district court is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 that mandated that the religious character of a place cannot be changed from what existed on 15 August, 1947.

In an important observation, Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal said the Act did not define the term 'religious character' and this can only be determined through evidence in court presented by the opposing parties.

Either the Gyanvapi compound has a Hindu religious character or a Muslim religious character. It can't have dual character at the same time, Justice Agarwal said.

He ordered that the trial in the case which is of "vital national importance" should be concluded as soon as possible, preferably within six months.

The high court took note of the ASI survey conducted at the Gyanvapi complex, following directions by the trial court which is hearing the petition of a group of women seeking regular access to Hindu deities depicted on the mosque's rear wall.

If required, the lower court may direct ASI for a further survey, the judge added.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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