Updated: May 12, 2022 12:41:31 pm
THE ARGUMENTS in the hearing regarding the replacement of a court-appointed Advocate Commissioner concluded in a Varanasi court on Wednesday, with the court reserving its order that will be pronounced on Thursday.
On Saturday, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had filed an application in the court seeking the replacement of Advocate Commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra, accusing him of being “biased”.
The arguments from both sides in the matter continued for nearly two hours in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar on Wednesday, after which the judge reserved the order.
On April 8, while hearing a petition filed by five women seeking the right to worship at the disputed site, Civil Judge (Senior Division), Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, appointed Ajay Kumar Mishra as Advocate Commissioner to carry out a survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex at the disputed site — and directed him to “prepare videography of the action” and submit a report.
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A senior court official said the court would give its order at noon on Thursday.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Madan Mohan Yadav, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners, said, “We spoke about the completing survey that was left incomplete after the Muslim side filed an application in the court seeking a replacement of the Advocate Commissioner appointed by the court. The court heard both sides and reserved its order for Thursday.”
“We have prayed before the court that the Commission must be allowed to conduct the survey inside the structure,” added Madan Mohan Yadav.
Abhay Nath Yadav, representing the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, on Thursday said, “We had moved an application to change the Advocate Commissioner. The plaintiffs have filed an application saying that the Commission should be allowed to enter the court for the videographic survey. We argued that firstly, the hounourable court has not passed any order for videography inside the mosque. Then, we cited an order passed April 26 this year, when the District Government Counsel (Civil) had filed an application asking for number of people in the Commission.
In that same application, the state had also mentioned that the mosque is a Waqf property and that videography can’t be done there. Despite this, the court didn’t pass any order ordering a survey inside the mosque which means the court declined videography inside mosque.”
“Another thing we mentioned was the Din Mohd vs. Secretary of State case of 1937 where the District court had said that the (Gyanvapi) mosque, courtyard and land underneath is a Waqf property. When it is a Waqf property, then permission can’t be granted for entry,” he added.
Through their petition filed in August 2021, the petitioners had sought protection of their right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution, and orders for the defendants (mosque committee) to not create any hindrance to worship at the disputed site. On April 21, the Allahabad High Court dismissed a petition filed by the masjid committee challenging the local court’s order. On April 26, the Varanasi court again ordered videography of the disputed site, which began on Friday afternoon amid heavy security.
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