Gyanvapi suit not barred by Places of Worship Act: High Court : The Tribune India

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Gyanvapi suit not barred by Places of Worship Act: High Court

Orders speedy trial, preferably within 6 months

Gyanvapi suit not barred by Places of Worship Act: High Court


PTI

Prayagraj, December 19

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

The High Court 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 was not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, that mandated that the “religious character” of a place could not be changed from what existed on August 15, 1947.

In an important observation, Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal said the Act did not define the term “religious character” and this could 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 a dual character at the same time,” Justice Agarwal said.

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

The order on the Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vihswanath temple issue follows other significant court rulings on temple-mosque disputes in Uttar Pradesh over the past months.

#Gyanvapi


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