Mosque management prepares for a long legal battle

AIM lawyer Merajuddin Siddiqui said that the AIM would challenge the court order that said that the suit is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, The Waqf Act, 1995 and the UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983.
Gyanvapi mosque
Gyanvapi mosqueFile photo

LUCKNOW: The Ayodhya verdict has not dampened the Muslims and after the Varanasi verdict, the community is bracing up for a legal battle - howsoever long drawn it may be.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM), the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, has said that they will file a revision petition before the Allahabad high court.

Rekha Pathak, a woman plaintiff in the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri case, has already filed a caveat in the Allahabad high court to ensure that her side would be heard before any relief is given to the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid when it files a revision petition against the rejection of its application in the matter by the Varanasi district judge on September 12.

AIM joint secretary S M Yasin said that the timing to file a revision petition in the high court by the panel of lawyers would be decided after going through the court order in detail.

AIM lawyer Merajuddin Siddiqui said that the AIM would challenge the court order that said that the suit is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, The Waqf Act, 1995 and the UP Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Act, 1983.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC) said a committee of lawyers will study the district court's judgment and accordingly challenge it in the high court.

Muslim petitioners involved in the Gyanvapi mosque case said that they will consider approaching the Allahabad high court with their request to throw out a plea by a group of Hindu women to pray at a site at the mosque complex.

"There is always an option to move the high court. Our team of lawyers will study the judgment first, especially the ground on which our plea was rejected, and then will move the high court," Mohammed Touhid Khan, a counsel of the AIMC in the case, said.

Khan is also a part of the team that has been formed to study the judgment.

Muslim cleric and senior All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) member Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali said the community respects the judgment of the district court and "the option to move the high court and the Supreme Court is open".

Athar Husain, secretary, Indo Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), a trust of the Sunni Central Waqf Board that is taking care of the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya's Dhannipur village, said, "Having complete faith in the Indian judiciary, all the law abiding citizens, including Muslims, believe that the applicability of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, will ensure that the character of no other religious place in India will be changed now, as this is a part of the Ayodhya verdict of the five-judge constitutional bench of the Supreme Court and it has to be accepted in totality by all Indians."

The AIMPLB has already termed the Varanasi district court's decision on the maintainability of the Gyanvapi mosque case as 'disappointing' and has urged the government to implement the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, with full force.

AIMPLB General Secretary, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, said the preliminary decision of the district judge's court was "disappointing and saddening".

Rahmani said in the midst of the Babri Masjid controversy in 1991, Parliament had approved that the status quo at all religious places, except the Babri Masjid, would be maintained as in 1947, and no dispute against it would be valid.

Then in the Babri Masjid case, the Supreme Court upheld the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, and declared it mandatory, he pointed out.

"But in spite of this, those who want to serve hatred and who do not care about the unity of this country, raised the issue of the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi and it is a pity that the district judge's court ignored the 1991 law and allowed the petition," Rahmani said.

He added, "Now, this sad phase has come where the court has initially accepted the claim of Hindu groups and has paved the way for them. It is a painful thing for the country and the people."

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