All HC | Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Masjid Land Title Dispute a matter of national dispute; Arguments lead off in High Court [Religious character]

Allahabad High Court: The hearings on the dispute of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque have begun in full swing and as an update one of the contesting respondents claimed that it is a national dispute.

Previously by an order in April 2021 the Varanasi Court had asked ASI to conduct survey related to the matter but later it was stayed by the Allahabad High Court in September 2021. Recently on 29-03-2022 the Allahabad High Court decided that it would regularly hear matters related to the dispute.

It is believed by the Hindu community that disputed site is a temple of Lord Vishweshwar where as the Muslim Community believes that the disputed site is a Masque.

It was argued by the counsel of respondents before Prakash Padia, J. that character of the religious structure is ascertained on the basis of whole property not on the basis of part of property and the religious character of the property cannot be changed mere changing of a part only. It was further argued that mere declaration of masque as Waqf Property, the Waqf Act would not be applicable because it was the dispute between Hindus and Muslims and not between two sets of the Muslim Community, therefore, the Waqf Act could not be applicable in this case.

The counsel for the respondents went on to argue that this dispute has now an increased importance after the decision in the Ram Janambhumi case and this was not a dispute of property simplicitor but it is a national dispute with emotions of millions of people attached to it.

The arguments could not be completed due to paucity of time and the matter is due for further hearing as on 08-04-2022.

[Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi v. Ist A.D.J. Varanasi, order dated: 04-04-2022]

Counsel for petitioner: Sri S.F.A. Naqvi, Senior Counsel assisted by Sri Syed Ahmad Faizan and Sri Punit Kumar Gupta, assisted by Devendra Kumar Mishra

For contesting respondents : Sri Ajay Kumar Singh, Sri Vijay Shankar Rastogi, Sri Sunil Rastogi, Sri Tejas Singh and Sri Vineet Sankalp

For respondent 7: Sri Shashi Prakash Singh, Senior Counsel/Assistant Solicitor General of India assisted by Sri Manoj Kumar Singh

For respondent 8 : Sri M.C. Chaturvedi, Additional Advocate General/Senior Advocate assisted by Vineet Pandey, Chief Standing Counsel, Vijay Shankar Prasad and Ved Mani Pandey

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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