Gyanvapi Case: Muslim side raises questions on Shivling, next hearing on May 30

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Gyanvapi Case: The hearing on the Gyanvapi case in the Varanasi court on Thursday saw heated debates between the lawyers of the Hindu and Muslim sides. The court has set the next date of hearing on the case for May 30.

“The Muslim side started their arguments today. The arguments could not be completed today. So, the arguments would continue at 2 pm on Monday (May 30),” the Hindu side’s lawyer Vishnu Jain told the media after Thursday’s hearing.

“Today, the Muslim side just read out paragraphs from our petition and tried to say that the petition isn’t maintainable. We interjected and pointed out to the court that we’ve specific rights and all pleadings were made,” he added.

When the arguments started after 2.30 pm on the scheduled time, both parties put forward arguments and documents. During this, the Muslim side was cross-examined for half an hour. After this, Vishnu Jain on behalf of the Hindu side informed the court about the Shivling received by the court and its security. He also alleged that the Shivling has been tampered with. 

The Hindu side, while giving information about the worship of Shringar Gauri in the Gyanvapi complex even before 1991, said the current issue does not come under the Worship Act. After this, the court proceedings came to an end after a hearing of one and a half hours at four o’clock in the evening.

Arguments of Muslim side

The Masjid Committee argued that the rumors of a ‘Shivalinga’ being found inside the mosque had created public unrest. The petition was filed by the Muslim side, challenging the sustainability of the suit filed by the Hindu parties claiming the Gyanvapi complex.

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The Masjid Committee expressed concern that the existence of the Shivling is only alleged and has not been proved yet. “Rumours result in public unrest which should not be allowed until its existence is proved,” the Masjid Committee told the Varanasi Court on Thursday.

Citing the Places of Worship Act, 1991, the Muslim side referred to previous Supreme Court judgments. The Muslim side argued, ‘There is no right of the parties (plaintiffs) to claim the title of the mosque.’ Let us inform that during the hearing held on Thursday, the Muslim side kept its arguments for two hours. Now the matter will be heard again on May 30.

What is the Places of Worship Act?

The Places of Worship Act, 1991, prohibits conversion of places of worship and flouting the religious character of the time of India’s independence on August 15, 1947. Section 4(1) of the Act states that the place of worship existing as on 15th August, 1947 shall continue to have the same character as it was on that day. This Act came into force on 11 July 1991.

first published:May 26, 2022, 4:43 p.m.

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