Hindus in the country, who were intentionally harassed and prevented from worshiping Shivlinga at Gyanvapi, have had significant relief. India’s secular politics have caused Hindus to lose their places of worship to Muslims who illegally claimed them. As claimed by the Anjuman Masjid Committee yesterday, Judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha ruled that the suit filed by the plaintiffs was not barred by the Places of Worship Act 1991, the Waqf Act 1995, and the Uttar Pradesh Sri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act 1983.
My hunch is that it's only the first round – the Gyanvapi mosque discovery will now open a Pandora's box of more cases of destroyed Hindu temples: Sanjay Dixit, The Jaipur Dialogues ? https://t.co/EeucOy3nx6#SanjayDixit #Gyanvapi pic.twitter.com/qh4gn7PYrS
— The Festival of Bharat (@festivalbharat) September 12, 2022
On its part, the court rejected the defendants’ argument regarding their questioning the petition seeking the right to worship deities on the wall surrounding the Temple. Gyanvapi -Shringar Gauri case verdict delivered by the Varanasi court is a major victory for Hindus. In light of the verdict, the Hindus can now seek an ASI survey of the premises and carbon dating of the Shivling discovered within the premises’ “wuzukhana.”
The Muslim side stated the following against the Hindu side, “In this mosque, the common Muslims of Varanasi city and the nearby area have been offering Namaz of five times and Namaz of Eid & Jumma without any interference. The Parliament enacted the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 in the year 1991. In this Act, it has been provided that the places of worship will remain in the same position in which they were on 15th August 1947 and regarding such places of worship, no suit will be maintainable in any court. Further, in 1983, Shri Kashi Vishwanath Act, 1983 was enacted in Uttar Pradesh.
In this Act, it has been provided that Board of Trustees will be created which will look after Shri Kashi Vishwanath Mandir and all Gods and Goddesses in its compound”. The Muslim side claimed that such suits are barred by the Places of Worship Act, 1991.
— Kashmiri Hindu (@BattaKashmiri) September 12, 2022
The Five Key Observations
The Court made the following five key observations:
- To the arguments by the Muslim side that the disputed property is housed in the Gyanvapi mosque, the court said the plaintiffs are not claiming ownership over the disputed property. The plaintiffs are only demanding the right to worship Maa Shringaar Gauri and other visible deities, which were being worshipped incessantly till 1993 and after 1993, till now once a year under the regulation of Uttar Pradesh. Hence the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) 1991, does not operate as a bar on this suit.
- The defendants (Muslim side) had argued that the suit of the plaintiffs is barred by section 85 of the Waqf Act, 1995. This is because the subject matter of the suit is a Waqf property and only the Waqf tribunal in Lucknow has the right to decide this suit. The court said that it has concluded that the plaintiffs are “not Muslims” and are strangers to the Waqf created at the disputed property and the relief claimed in the suit is not covered under several sections of the Waqf Act. Hence, the suit of the plaintiffs (Hindu side) is not barred by Section 85 of the Waqf Act, 1995.
- The court also observed that the destruction of the idol does not result in the termination of the “pious purpose” and consequently the endowment. Even where the idol is destroyed, or the presence of the idol itself is intermittent or absent, the legal personality created by the endowment continues to subsist. In this regard, the court referred to idol immersion and noted that it cannot be said that the pious purpose is extinguished due to immersion.
- The defendants also argued that the suit of the plaintiffs is barred by the KVT Act 1983. The court, however, said that the defendants failed to prove that the Act bars any suit claiming the right to worship idols installed in the endowment within the premises of the temple, or outside.
- The suit of the plaintiffs is limited and confined to the right of worship as a civil right, fundamental right as well as customary and religious right. They have not filed the suit for the declaration that the disputed property is a Temple.
The Court ruled the following post-hearing the Hindu side; “In the present case, the plaintiffs have claimed relief that they should be allowed to worship the deities of Maa Sringar Gauri and other Gods and Goddesses in the disputed property but such relief is not covered under Sections 33, 35, 47, 48, 51, 54, 61, 64, 67, 72, & 73 of the Waqf Act. Therefore, the jurisdiction of this court to entertain the present suit is not barred. Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that the bar under Section 85 of the Waqf Act does not operate in the present case because the plaintiffs are non-Muslims and strangers to the alleged Waqf created at the disputed property and the relief claimed in the suit is not covered under Sections 33, 35, 47, 48, 51, 54, 61, 64, 67, 72 & 73 of the Waqf Act. Hence, suit of the plaintiffs is not barred by Section 85 of the Waqf Act 1995”.
We will always be grateful to those who stood up for Hindu rights and to the lawyers Vishnu Jain and Harishankar Jain. Throughout history, Hindus had been intentionally excluded from their sacred place of worship because of distorted and secular politics. In relation to the Places of Worship Act, Islamists intentionally presented a convoluted viewpoint that was quickly squashed. Hindus have to fight hard for their rights to worship on their own land, which is a sad reality. Illegal Muslim claimants are at the fore due to deliberate misuse and distortion of facts. The verdict, however, has given Hindus hope and a sense of victory. This will not only free Hindus from all the injustices of the past but give them strength and bolster their efforts.