What is Gyanvapi Case? Important dates, Decisions & More

Varanasi's seniormost judge took a decision over the Gyanvapi Mosque today. Read and know what is Gyanvapi case, related dates, parties, controversies, and more
What is Gyanvapi Case?
What is Gyanvapi Case?

The Varanasi district and sessions court Monday dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s challenge against the civil suits that questioned the Gyanvapi mosque’s title and the land surrounding it. Earlier in August 2021, five Hindu women filed a petition seeking the right to worship inside the mosque at Varanas.

This petition was filed to seek the right to worship Maa Shringar Gauri on the outer wall of the mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The dismissal by district judge A K Vishvesh means that the civil suits will be heard in detail and an examination of evidence will follow. And to counter this, another plea was filed by the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), which manages the mosque. The committee questioned the maintainability of the case citing the Places of Worship Act, 1991. As per the act, the conversion of the religious character of a place of worship, which existed on 15 August 1947 is prohibited and unlawful.

Almost three-decade-old Gyanvapi controversy will decide the fate of faith now under District Judge. The itinerary of the Gyanvapi case follows:

1991: The first petition against the Gyanwapi case was filed by Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in Varanasi court in 1991. The petition demanded the right to worship in the Gyanvapi complex. It was also the same year when the Places of Worship Act got its shape.

The petition was made on three key points: 

  • Declaration of the entire Gyanvapi complex as Kashi Temple.
  • No involvement of Muslim communities in the area.
  • And bulldozing of the mosque.

1998: A new case was filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee in Allahabad High Court. This petition asserted that the temple-mosque land dispute could not be adjudged by a civil court as per the law. And as a result, the proceedings were carried out in the lower courts for 22 years by High Court.

2019: Almost after 21 years, another plea was filed by a person named Rastogi on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar in the Varanasi district. Attributing himself as the ‘next friend’ of Swayambhu, he demanded an Archeological survey of the entire disputed area. 

2020: In which revert,  the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee intervened again and opposed the petition seeking an ASI survey of the entire Gyanvapi complex.

2020: However, the petitioner Rastogi reached the lower court again for the resumption of the hearing of the 1991 petition as the Allahabad High Court had not extended the stay further.

March 2021: A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde took over the Places of Worship Act 1991, to examine the substantiality and validity of the act.

August 2021: The Gyanvapi case again created a brawl when five Hindu devotees filed a petition in the Varanasi Court seeking permission to worship deities Hanuman, Nandi, and Shringar Gauri, inside the Gyanvapi complex. It is reported that these idols were present on the walls of disputed construction. This petition also demanded the protection and preservation of these idols.

September 2021: The single judge bench of Justice Prakash Padia of Allahabad High Court announced to wait for further judgment in the already proceeding cases of the matter. Also, the court stated, “The court below should not have proceeded and decided the application filed by the plaintiffs in the Original Suit for survey by Archaeological Survey of India. In the opinion of the Court, the Court below should wait for the verdict in the petitions pending before this Court and not proceed further in the matter till the time a judgment is delivered."

April 2022: Based on the petition filed in August 2021, the Varanasi court appointed an advocate commissioner and ordered a video graphical survey of the complex. This decision was also challenged by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee in the Allahabad High court but was upheld, followed by the Special Leave Petition filed in the Supreme Court.

6 May 2022: Just after the video graphical survey under executed under officials headed by District Magistrate, a petition was filed by AIMC’s advocate. This petition alleged Advocate Commissioner Ajai Mishra was biased, demanding his removal.

12 May 2022: However, the court denied all the allegations against Ajai Mishra. Also, senior advocate Vishal Singh was appointed to supervise the survey as special advocate commissioner. 

14-19 May 2022: The survey was resumed again and was conducted for two days. All the survey findings were submitted in a report to the court by 17th May.

20 May 2022: Later, the case proceedings were transferred to a district judge by the Supreme Court. And the court decided to involve a senior judicial officer with an experience of 25-30 years to handle this case in a better way.

26 May 2022: The hearing on the maintainability petition of the case kept on extending to further dates because of incomplete arguments of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee to date.

24 August 2022: On this day of the hearing, Varanasi district judge Ajai Krishna Vishvesha reserved his order till 12 September. And in the meantime, he asked both parties to complete their set of arguments.

12 September 2022: The district court judge AK Vishvesh dismissed the pleas of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee. This means that now the civil suits will be heard in detail and an examination of evidence will follow. Also, the next court hearing on the Gyanvapi controversy is scheduled for September 22, 2022.

11th October 2022: The Varanasi district judge court on this day fixed October 14 as the date to deliver its order on the demand of carbon dating for the alleged ‘Shivlinga’ found inside Gyanvapi mosque.

14th October 2022: The Varanasi court rejected the plea filed by the four Hindu women demanding carbon dating of the structure they claimed to be a Shivling found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque's wazukhana or reservoir.

Gyanvapi mosque is a controversial Mughal monument located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. 


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