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High Court Clears Path for Gyanvapi Dispute, Hindu Suits Proceed After Dismissal of Objections

Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh), December 20, 2023: In a significant development, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday dismissed petitions challenging the maintainability of several civil suits filed by Hindu litigants regarding the Gyanvapi complex. These suits seek the right to worship at the disputed site and the restoration of a temple alleged to have stood there before the construction of a mosque.

The petitions, filed by the Anjuman Intizamiah Masjid Committee (AIM) and the U.P. Sunni Central Wakf Board, argued that the suits were barred by the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which prohibits any change in the religious character of places of worship as they existed on August 15, 1947.

However, Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal, delivering the verdict, held that the Act did not apply in this case, citing its “national importance” and the need for legal intervention to determine the disputed site’s religious character.

“The determination of the religious character of a disputed place should be addressed through judicial proceedings,” Justice Agarwal emphasized, adding, “It is not a suit between two individual parties. It affects two major communities of the country.”

This crucial ruling clears the path for the Hindu litigants’ suits to proceed in the Varanasi district court. They claim that the Gyanvapi mosque was built on the ruins of an ancient Hindu temple dedicated to Kashi Vishwanath, a prominent deity in the Hindu pantheon. Their suits seek permission to worship at the site and ultimately, the restoration of the temple.

The decision has been met with mixed reactions. Hindu groups have hailed it as a victory for their rights, while Muslim organizations have expressed disappointment and concern about the implications for the Places of Worship Act.

With the legal hurdles overcome, the Gyanvapi dispute, a long-standing source of religious tension in India, is set to move forward to its next stage in the courts. The final verdict in this complex case is likely to have significant social and political repercussions in the country.


"This is a historic day for Hindus all over India. We have waited centuries for justice, and finally, the courts have acknowledged our right to worship at our holy site," said a spokesperson for the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.
"We are deeply disappointed by the court's decision. The Places of Worship Act was enacted to maintain religious harmony in India, and this ruling undermines its very purpose," said a representative of the AIM.

Please note: This news article is based on the provided information and quotes. It is essential to consult verified sources for further details and updates on the Gyanvapi dispute.

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