1. Allahabad High Court rejects Gyanvapi Mosque committee’s appeal against Varanasi district court’s ruling.
2. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal upholds the appointment of the Varanasi District Magistrate as a receiver and allows prayers in Tehkhana.
3. The verdict marks a significant development in the ongoing legal battle over religious rights at the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Varanasi, Feb 26: The Allahabad High Court delivered a significant judgment on Monday, dismissing the appeal of the Gyanvapi Mosque committee against the Varanasi district court’s decision to allow prayers in a cellar within the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal announced the verdict, affirming the district court’s appointment of the Varanasi District Magistrate as the receiver of the property and permitting puja in the Tehkhana.

Advocate Prabhash hailed the verdict as a victory for Sanatana Dharma, emphasizing that the puja would continue uninterrupted under the supervision of the District Magistrate.

Another advocate, Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, underscored that the ongoing puja in the Vyas Tehkhana would persist following the court’s decision.

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The Varanasi court’s ruling on January 31 allowed the Hindu side to conduct prayers in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque, known as the Vyas Tehkhana.

It directed the district magistrate to facilitate puja and appoint a pujari nominated by the Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust.

Subsequently, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, managing the Gyanvapi Mosque, contested the Varanasi court’s decision by filing a plea before the Allahabad High Court on February 1.

This action followed the Supreme Court’s refusal to urgently hear the mosque committee’s plea.

The dispute centers on the possession of the Vyas Tehkhana, with the mosque committee asserting its ownership as part of the mosque premises.

Conversely, the Hindu side contends that the Vyas family conducted religious ceremonies in the basement until 1993, complying with a directive from the state government to discontinue worship activities.

Critics of the court’s decision argue that the judge, on his last day before retirement, hastily ruled without considering the Places of Worship Act.

They assert that the order to open the grills within seven days infringed upon the right to appeal, as typically a 30-day window is provided.

The legal battle surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque reflects broader tensions between religious communities and highlights the complexities of religious property disputes in India.

The ongoing legal proceedings underscore the need for careful consideration of historical, legal, and religious factors to ensure equitable resolution.