22 April 2022 4:41 AM GMT
The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition filed by the Managing Committee of Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid regarding the Gyanvapi Masjid-Vishwanath Temple dispute in Varanasi. In their plea, the Majid Committee had opposed the order of the civil court appointing an Advocate Commissioner to present a report after inspecting the idols of Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord...
The Allahabad High Court has dismissed a petition filed by the Managing Committee of Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid regarding the Gyanvapi Masjid-Vishwanath Temple dispute in Varanasi.
In their plea, the Majid Committee had opposed the order of the civil court appointing an Advocate Commissioner to present a report after inspecting the idols of Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman, Nandi/Nandideva present within the Mosque premises.
It may be noted that a Civil Court in Varanasi had appointed Ajay Kumar as the Advocate Commissioner vide an order dated April 8, 2022 and had ordered him to inspect and videograph the site and submit his report before the court. Challenging such an appointment, the Masjid committee had moved to the Court.
Having heard the arguments of the parties, the Bench of Justice J. J. Munir observed that if the Civil Court had exercised its discretion to issue a commission, so that evidence about the fact in issue can be collected, it cannot be said that the order is beyond the jurisdiction of the Court under Order XXVI Rule 9 of the Code.
The Court has also dismissed the Masjid's plea against the civil court's another order by which it had refused to interfere in the worship of deities at the Visheswar Nath Mahadev Mandir in Varanasi.
Essentially, the Court categorically held that the commission does not, in any way, impinge upon the rights of the defendant-petitioner (Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi which manages Gyanvapi Mosque).
"If anything is said in the report of the learned Advocate Commissioner that the defendant-petitioner or any other defendant to the suit feels is contrary to the spot position, he can always object to the Commissioner's report, which would then be a subject matter for decision by the Court on the basis of evidence on record," the Court said.
On the point that Advocate Kumar's name had been suggested by the plaintiff-respondents, the Court said that the mere fact that the said Advocate Commissioner's name has been suggested by the plaintiff respondents, would not make him a Commissioner of the plaintiffs' choice.
"It is the Court, that has in its discretion, taken a decision, bearing in mind the history of the previous assignment of the commission and the circumstances obtaining. There is no reason for the petitioner to cry foul about the aforesaid choice. Quite apart, the report submitted by the Advocate Commissioner is only a piece of evidence and open to dispute by the defendant-petitioner like any other. Therefore, by the nomination of a particular Advocate Commissioner, no prejudice ipso facto is caused to the petitioner," the Court said.
Further, regarding the argument of the Masjid Committee opposing the direction of the Court to provide police aid to the Advocate Commissioner, the Court was of the view that it is not that the Trial Judge had said that the learned Advocate Commissioner would go to execute his commission with an armed force at his command.
"The Trial Judge has merely directed that in case the learned Advocate Commissioner finds it appropriate that the police force should assist him in the execution of his commission, necessary aid would be provided to him. This Court, therefore, does not find any force in the aforesaid part of the petitioner's challenge to the impugned order dated 18.04.2022," the Court remarked.
With this, the petition was summarily dismissed.
Case title - C/M Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi v. Smt. Rakhi Singh And 8 Others
Case Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (AB) 194
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