Varanasi Fast Track Court permits Archaeological Survey of Gyan Vapi Mosque; Hearing of Lord Kashi Vishwanath upheld
A fast track court of Varanasi on Wednesday has rejected the plea for maintaining the stay on archaeological survey of Gyan Vapi mosque built by Aurangzeb after demolishing Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The court was hearing the ongoing case between Lord Kashi Vishwanath and Anjuman Intezamiya Banaras & UP Sunni Central WAQF Board, where the latter party had demanded that the court uphold the stay in this case.
Anjuman Intejamiya Banaras and UP Sunni Central WAQF Board (respondents in the case) requested that the proceedings be adjourned and no further action be taken. This request has been rejected by the court now. The hearing on the need for archaeological survey will be taken up by the court next. The petitioners had said that the suit should be settled on the basis of the Place of Worship Special Provisions Act, 1991. Lord Kashi Vishwanath is being represented by senior advocate Rajendra Pratap Pandey.
It has to be noted that the decision of the Revision Court on 23 September 1998 too was in favor of Lord Vishwanath. But the defendants went to the High Court and filed a writ petition based on Article 226. It was then the HC had brought a stay on the Revision Court's writ on 13 October 1998 and ruled that no further action would be taken in context of the order of 23 September 1998. However, the court did not stay the trial proceedings and even thereafter there was no specific order of the High Court in it.
Advocate Rajendra Pratap Pandey speaking to the media said that in 2018, a 3-judge bench of the Supreme Court had passed an order that stay in long pending cases, which have orders pending for long time and no new orders have come in the last 6 months, will end. It was this argument based on which the 1998 stay was vacated today.
However, the defendants argued that in another order in 2019, a 2-judge bench of the Supreme Court gave a new order regarding the stay in the second trial. Advocate Rajendra Pratap Pandey said that while the order of 2019 was given in the disputes over tenancy only, the order of 2018 was for all long pending matters. The facts of both the cases are different and hence the trial court vacating the stay is just.
The fast track court of Varanasi has dismissed the petition of the defendants after a legal inquiry into all the aspects, says advocate Rajendra Prasad Pandey. The court observed that the intention of the law is that the proceedings of this case should continue. The court has fixed 17th February as the next date of hearing into the demand for a archaeological Survey of Gyan Vapi Mosque.