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Allahabad High Court hears Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Masjid dispute case

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Arguments by the temple’s advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi on the petition filed on the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Masjid dispute could not be completed on Thursday in the Allahabad High Court.

A single-judge bench of Justice Prakash Padia heard the petition filed by the Anjuman Intazamia Masjid Varanasi.

Vijay Shankar Rastogi argued that mere registration of the property in the Waqf Act does not waive the rights of a non-Muslim.

It is argued that there were some amendments which were carried out in the Waqf Act of 1960 in 1984 but the amendments did not come into force.

It is argued that by the amendment, it came into effect that if a dispute arose between the Waqf Board and a non-Muslim regarding a Waqf property, notice must be issued to the person and in this matter, no notice or opportunity was given by the plaintiffs, therefore, the Waqf Act could not be applicable.

It is further argued that when the Waqf Act of 1995 came into force, there was a provision under the aforesaid Act that Waqf property be again registered but the property in dispute has never been re-registered under the Waqf Act, 1995, therefore, the property in dispute is not a Waqf property and the provisions of the Waqf Act are not applicable.

Vijay Shankar Rastogi relied upon the judgment passed in the case of Punjab Wakf Board Vs Sham Singh Harike reported in 2019 (1) ARC 511.

In view of the aforesaid, it is argued that the site in dispute cannot be treated to be a Waqf property.

Rastogi further argued that a Suit being Original Suit had been filed by three persons namely Deen Mohammad, Mohammad Hussain and Mohammad Zakariya before the Court of Subordinate Judge, Varanasi.

The Court noted,

On the basis of the aforesaid, it is argued that the suit which was filed in 1936 and the judgement delivered in the same will not help the petitioner in any manner whatsoever.

Since the suit was filed by the plaintiffs in their individual capacity and the relief granted by the trial court was only to the plaintiffs in the suit as such no other person could take benefit of the decree passed by the Civil Court.

Moreover, the aforesaid aspect of the matter could only be dealt by the Civil Court after going through the evidence, hence the order passed by the Court below is liable to be sustained and the writ petitions filed by the petitioner is liable to be dismissed.

Insofar as the other writ petitions are concerned which were filed in 2022, it is argued by counsel for the Central Government as well as the State Government that whatever orders will be passed either by the Court or the subordinate Court, they shall comply with the same.

Interim order granted earlier is extended till May 31, 2022, the Court ordered.

The Court has fixed the next hearing of the petition on May 10, 2022.

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