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Gyanvapi row: HC schedules hearing on mosque committee's appeal of Varanasi court decision for Dec 5

Gyanvapi row: HC schedules hearing on mosque committees appeal of Varanasi court decision for Dec 5

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court set December 5 for a follow-up hearing on a revision appeal filed by the management of the Gyanvapi Masjid challenging a Varanasi court decision on the legality of a request for permission to give regular prayers to idols of deities within the mosque premises.

Following a brief hearing on Tuesday, the high court postponed the case's hearing until Wednesday.

During the hearing on Wednesday, the counsel for the Hindu side argued that the case before the lower court was drafted honestly. He was arguing with the counsel for the Anjuman Intejamia Masjid, the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, who alleged that the case was cleverly drafted.

The Hindu side counsel further submitted that the provisions of the Places of Worship Act would not apply in the present case. However, after a brief hearing, Justice J J Munir directed the matter to be heard next on December 5.

The suit filed by five Hindu women seeking permission to worship Shringar Gauri and other deities whose idols are located on an exterior wall of the mosque was contested by the management committee of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

The district judge of Varanasi had on September 12 dismissed the plea.

The high court also fixed January 18, 2023, for further hearing on another revision petition filed by Laxmi Devi and others challenging the Varanasi district judge's order by which the lower court had refused the demand of carbon dating of a 'Shivling' claimed to have been found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

This plea was also heard in the court of Justice J J Munir.

The counsel for the Hindu side sought time to gather information on whether the May 17 order of the Supreme Court is about a stay or whether the 'Shivling' should be examined scientifically without damaging it.

On October 14, Varanasi District Judge A K Vishvesh turned down the plea seeking scientific investigation and carbon dating of the 'Shivling', citing Supreme Court directives for its safekeeping so that no tampering can be done.

Four of the five Hindu parties had sought carbon dating of the 'Shivling' found during a court-mandated videography survey of the mosque premises close to the "wazookhana", a small reservoir used by Muslim devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering Namaz.

The revision petition has sought an appropriate survey or excavation to find out the nature of construction beneath the 'Shivling' discovered on May 16, 2022.

The Hindu parties have also sought a scientific investigation by carbon dating to determine the age, nature and other constituents of the 'Shivling' in accordance with the provisions of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.

With PTI inputs

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