NEW DELHI, Feb 2: The Allahabad High Court on Friday did not give any immediate relief to the Gyanvapi Masjid committee which had challenged the order of the Varanasi district court allowing Hindus to offer prayer in “Vyas ki Tehkhana” cellar of the mosque.
The court will now hear the matter on February 6.
Justice Rohit Ranjan Agrawal passed the order while hearing an appeal filed by the committee, which looks after the affairs of the mosque. The Anzuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had moved the High Court within hours of the Supreme Court refusing to hear their plea against the Varanasi district court’s order and asking them to approach the high court.
The Varanasi court had ruled on January 31 that a priest of Kashi Vishwanath temple can perform prayer before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque. Appearing on behalf of the committee, advocate S F A Naqvi submitted before the court that the order was passed in a “very hurried manner” and on the day of retirement of the judge concerned.
Varanasi district judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha retired from service on January 31 after delivering the order. Advocate Naqvi further submitted that while passing the impugned order, district judges had not considered their documents.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, pointed out that the district court by means of order dated January 17 had appointed District Magistrate, Varanasi receiver of the property in pursuance of which he took possession of the same on January 24.
He argued that the order passed on January 31 is only a consequential order. Order dated January 17 has not been challenged, thus the appeal is not maintainable. On this, Advocate Naqvi said he has to move an amendment application challenging the order dated January 17 also.
According to the order, the Advocate General has undertaken that that district administration of Varanasi will maintain law and order in pursuance of the order dated January 31. Advocate Jain also submitted that by permitting puja, no harm has been caused to the other side because in the past, puja was going on which was stopped in December 1993.
In the appeal filed before the court, Board of Trustees Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple as well as Shailendra Kumar Pathak, Head priest Acharya Ved Vyas Peeth Temple Complex have been made respondents.