The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) Committee and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board challenging the maintainability of a suit filed by five Hindu women before a Varanasi court, seeking the right to worship inside the Gyanvapi mosque.
The mosque committee had argued that the petition filed by Hindu devotees in Varanasi court was not maintainable under the Places of Worship Act of 1991 and the Central Waqf Act of 1995.
"It is a historic verdict. The court clearly has said that Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee's petition is not maintainable and dismissed it," said Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side.
The petitioners said they may consider filing a review petition in the Supreme Court.
"This is not a big win (for the Hindu side) as the court gave a verdict only on the Order 7 Rule CPC plea filed by Anjuman Intazamia Mosque Committee. We can file a review petition and also approach the Supreme Court. The next course of action will be decided upon after reading the order," said Mohammad Tauheed Khan, advocate representing the Muslim side.
Meanwhile, the high court will hear on July 14 a plea moved by the Waqf Board and the mosque management committee challenging the maintainability of another suit before Varanasi court, seeking the restoration of a temple at the site where the mosque exists.
On April 8, 2021, while hearing the petition, the Varanasi court had directed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a comprehensive survey of the mosque complex. The order was challenged before the high court.
On September 9, 2021, the high court stayed the Varanasi court's April 8 order. The stay order was extended from time to time during the hearing of the matter.