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[Gyanvapi] Lord Vishweshwara Through Next Friend Move Varanasi Court Seeking Impleadment In Suit By Hindu Worshippers

Sparsh Upadhyay
30 May 2022 8:32 AM GMT
Hindu deities, Gyan Vapi mosque dispute, Varanasi court, maa shringar gauri, lord hanuman, Order 7 Rule 11 CPC, Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, The Waqf Act 1995, and the U.P. Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983, Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee, District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha, Gyanvapi Dispute, Varanasi Court, Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee, Order 7 Rule 11 CPC, Challenge, Maintainability, Hindu Worshippers Suit, Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee, Kashi Vishwanath, Maa Shringar

Image: Renuka Puri

In the suit filed by five Hindu women (plaintiffs) over the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute seeking the right to worship inside the masjid premises, an impleadment application has been moved by Lord Vishveshwara through next friend Advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi.

The suit is presently being heard by District Judge Dr. Ajay Krishna Vishwesha on the question of maintainability, wherein, the Masjid committee has moved an Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application.

Idol Lord Vishweshwara through next friend Rastogi has made an application under Order 1 Rule 10 CPC to become a party in the suit and has urged the Court to hear him on the maintainability aspect as well.

It may be noted that Order 1 Rule 10 of CPC enables the court to add any person as a party at any stage of the proceedings if the person whose presence before the court is necessary in order to enable the court effectively and completely adjudicate upon and settle all the questions involved in the suit.

The application submits that the ancient idol itself has not been made a party to the suit, which is the main deity and is a necessary party, in such a situation it is necessary to hear his side as well.

Importantly, in the O.S No. 610 of 1991 after the death of plaintiff no. 2 Somnath Vyas and plaintiff no. 3 Dr. Ram Rang Sharma, who were parties to the said case in a representative capacity, the applicant Vijay Shankar Rastogi had been appointed as the Next Friend of the deity by the Court in October 2019 being also the Secretary of the Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Vishweshwar (Vishwanath) Nyas, Varanasi.

In this application, the applicant is the principal dejure deity of the Temple of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Lord Vishweshwar and owner of the disputed place and the other deities i.e. Shringar Gauri, Ganesh at the Sthan Lord Vishweshwar along with Lord Ganesh, Lord Hanuman, Nandi ji and other visible and invisible deities are the deities of Old Temple of Swayambhu Jyotirling Lord Vishweshwar situated at the very place where the Masjid is situated.

It may be noted that today Anjuman Masjid Committee will continue its submission opposing the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women (plaintiffs) over the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute.

Importantly, before the Allahabad High Court, the next friend of Lord Vishweshwar has already argued that the Linga which is situated in the Gyanvapi Mosque is actually Swayambhu (Self manifested) and also a Jyotirlinga.

It may be noted that Jyotirlinga, is a devotional representation of the Hindu god Shiva. As per the Shiva Purana, the Jyotirlinga situated in present time Varanasi is among 12 Maha Jyotirlingas, where the deity Shri Vishwanath/Vishweshwara (Lord of the Universe) presides.

On May 20, it was argued by Lord's next friend Advocate Vijay Shankar Rastogi before the Allahabad High Court that the Linga, which is situated in this Temple (Masjid premises), is Swayambhu, and also Vishveshwara Jyotirlinga and the Jyotirlinga has a long religious history which has also been mentioned in Puranas.

Proceedings till now before the Varanasi Court

On May 24, the Court had decided to hear the Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application in consonance with the directions of the Supreme Court issued on May 20 wherein it was said that Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application filed by the Anjuman Islamia committee over the maintainability of the suit be decided on priority.

The Court of Civil Judge Senior Division had last month ordered an inspection of the premises on petitions moved by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.

The plaintiffs claim that the present Mosque premises was once a Hindu temple and it was demolished by Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb thereafter, the present mosque structure was built there.

On the other hand, the Anjuman Masjid committee has argued in its objection and order 7 rule 11 application that the suit is specifically barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

The background of the Case

The local court [presided by Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar] had earlier appointed a survey commission to submit a report by visiting the mosque. The Court had received the survey report on May 19.

However, even before the submission of the survey report, the Court, on a submission made by the court-appointed Advocate Commissioner that it had found Shiva Linga inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey, had ordered to seal the spot.

"The District Magistrate, Varanasi is ordered to immediately seal the place where the Shiva linga is found and the entry of any person is prohibited in the sealed place," the court had ordered.

Meanwhile, a petition was filed by the Masjid Committee before the Supreme Court challenging the survey ordered by the Varanasi court. Hearing the plea on May 17, the Supreme Court had clarified that the order passed by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Varanasi to protect the spot where a "shiv ling" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will not restrict the right of Muslims to access the mosque to offer namaz and to perform religious observances.

Further, on May 20, the Supreme Court had transferred the suit filed by Hindu devotees in connection with the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute, to the District Court in Varanasi.

The Supreme Court also ordered that the application filed by the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (which manages Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi) before the trial court under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC for rejection of the suit as being barred in law, shall be decided on priority by the District Judge.

Meanwhile, it was also ordered that its interim order dated May 17 shall continue in operation till the application is decided and for a period of 8 weeks thereafter. Further, the concerned District Magistrate was directed to make proper arrangements for observance of wuzu.

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