India

Gyanvapi case | Court imposes ₹500 cost on masjid panel for seeking multiple adjournments

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi. File

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple and the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

In the ongoing Gyanvapi masjid-Kashi Vishwanath temple civil dispute, a district court in Varanasi on Thursday imposed a cost of ₹500 on the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee after lawyers representing the panel sought multiple adjournments on account of the lead lawyer Abhay Nath Yadav sudden death on July 31.

District judge A.K. Vishvesha was on Thursday was set to hear the case, when new Advocates appointed by the masjid panel sought time of 10 more days to prepare arguments.

After Mr. Yadav’s sudden death, the masjid panel decided to appoint Advocates Yogendra Prasad Singh and Shamim Ahmad to represent it in the district court hearing. They were supposed to give their vakalatnama in court on the previous date but did it on Thursday and sought time to prepare submissions, Advocate Raees Ahmed, who is part of the masjid panel’s legal team, said.

We needed to get the files from Mr. Yadav’s chamber and had sought time on August 4, Mr. Ahmed added.

The court on Thursday, however, was not inclined to grant further time. It imposed a cost of ₹500 on the panel and posted the matter for next hearing on Monday, August 22.

The district court is currently hearing the suit filed by plaintiff Rakhi Singh and four other Hindu women, seeking the right to pray inside the mosque premises where there an alleged shrine of Maa Shringar Gauri.

While the civil court hearing the case earlier had ordered a survey of the premises, the district court had decided that it would first hear the panel’s application under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, challenging the maintainability of the plaintiffs’ suit.

The masjid panel had made initial submissions that the Places of Worship Act of 1991 barred the suit and the plaintiffs had argued that none of the laws cited by the panel prevented their suit from being tried.

In the middle of the masjid panel’s rebuttal to the plaintiffs’ arguments, Mr. Yadav passed away. A couple days after his passing, Mr. Ahmed told The Hindu, “It was very sudden and it happened while he was at home. We are yet to think about how to go about the case. The panel will eventually appoint some other lawyers.”

After the court decides on the masjid panel’s application, it is set to consider the survey report of the mosque premises, ordered by the civil court. All parties have already filed their objections to the survey report.


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Printable version | Aug 19, 2022 12:29:18 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/gyanvapi-dispute-court-imposes-500-cost-on-masjid-panel-for-seeking-multiple-adjournments/article65784223.ece