Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court has dismissed all pleas from the Muslim side challenging the Hindus’ right to worship at the Gyanvapi mosque. The petitions were filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board and Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee regarding the ownership of the Gyanvapi Mosque and Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
The High Court rejected two petitions questioning the maintainability of a 1991 civil suit filed by Hindu worshippers, currently pending before a Varanasi District Court. Additionally, three petitions challenging a 2021 Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey order were also dismissed. Justice Rohit Ranjan Aggarwal, presiding over the single-judge bench, directed the lower court to conclude the hearing on the matter within the next six months.
The court asserted that if any aspect remains unaddressed during the survey, it can be revisited, and the subsequent report should be submitted to the Varanasi District Court.
The Muslim side had contested the civil suit, arguing that it sought the right to worship, and challenged the Varanasi District Court’s 2021 order for an ASI survey in the mosque complex. They contended that the civil suit was prohibited under the
Contrarily, the Hindu side, as per their civil suit, claimed that the Gyanvapi mosque is an integral part of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
During the hearing, the High Court ruled that the 1991 civil suit is maintainable and not barred by the 1991 Act, which prohibits the conversion of any place of worship and preserves the religious character of the site as it existed at the time of independence.