The much-awaited decision by the Varanasi District Court on Monday, 12 September, on the plea filed by five Hindu women seeking permission to worship Hindu deities at the Gyanvapi mosque's outer wall, was held as "maintainable."
This has garnered diverse reactions from the political spectrum with Union Minister Anurag Thakur saying, "It is a welcome decision. But everyone needs to be quiet now and let the courts do their work."
The court further held that the case was not barred by The Places of Worship Act or the Waqf Act, and listed the matter for further hearing on 22 September.
However, stating that the court's order on the communally sensitive case is heading down the same road as the Babri masjid issue, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi said:
"There should be an appeal in High Court against this order. I hope Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee will appeal against this order. I believe that after this order, the purpose of the Places of Worship Act 1991 will fail."
He told ANI, "A destabilising effect will start after this. We're going on the same path as that of the Babri masjid issue. When judgement on Babri Masjid was given, I warned everyone that this will create problems in the country as this judgement was given on the basis of faith."
In court, District Judge AK Vishvesh passed the order on the maintainability of the plea and rejected the Order 7 Rule 11 application of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee.
Court’s Ruling Supports BJP’s Narrative: Mehbooba Mufti
Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Democratic Party (JKPDP) chief Mehbooba Mufti chief Mehbooba Mufti on Tuesday, said that the court ruling in favour of the maintainability of the petition aligned with the BJP's narrative. She told news agency ANI, "BJP has failed to eliminate unemployment, poverty and inflation. So, they want to distract people's attention."
"It's their right (to challenge the order in the high court) but we'll respect the judgment and strengthen the law and order situation in the state," Pathak told ANI.
The Anjuman Committee had said that the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and had challenged the maintainability of the plea on the ground that The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act ,1991, expressly bars conversion of any place of worship into anything different from the religious character of the place as it was on 15 August 1947 (with the exception of the Ayodhya dispute).
’We Are With the Truth’: Union Minister Giriraj Singh
Union Minister Giriraj Singh on Monday expressed elation over the verdict and said, "We are with the truth, just like we were in the case of Ayodhya."
The MP from Begusarai also asked:
"After India's partition, our places of worship were demolished and our women dishonoured in Pakistan. The Congress had remained busy with pursuit of power through a politics of appeasement. If Hindus are deprived of their rights in India, where will they go?"
The Union minister commended Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for ordering a survey of madrasas and asserted that it was needed in Bihar as well.
Singh further alleged, "We have no problems with the madrasas. But whether or not impressionable minds are being taught appropriate things at these seminaries needs to be known. But the government here (in Bihar) is happy to convert the state into a Popular Front of India (PFI) hub."
BJP national social media incharge Priti Gandhi said, "The suit filed by 5 Hindu women seeking worshiping rights in the Gyanvapi compound is 'maintainable'."
‘A Win for Hindu Community’: Petitioners Celebrate the Court’s Verdict
Subsequent to the verdict, several petitioners and supporters were seen celebrating and chanting amid heavy police security.
Petitioner Manju Vyas, dancing and celebrating, said:
"Bharat is happy today, my Hindu brothers & sisters should light diyas to celebrate."
Fellow petitioner Sohan Lal Arya said, "It's a win for the Hindu community."
"The next hearing is on Sep 22. It's a foundation stone for the Gyanvapi temple," Arya told ANI.
Senior advocate Harishankar Jain, representing the petitioners, said that the verdict was a "grand victory" and added, "The argument we made were accepted by the court and they said that the suit is maintainable. They also said that the Places of Worship Act does not apply."
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, also appearing for the petitioners in the mosque case said:
"This judgement has huge importance because now the court will read the commission report, register objections from the other side, and begin discussions around the Shivling found in the commission's report."
Furthermore, lawyer Sudhir Tripathi said, "You can say that the verdict is in our favor, their plea was scrapped. The next hearing, on 22 September, will take place in the same court."
‘Wall Should Be Broken, Survey Should Be Done’: Petitioners' Lawyer
Lawyer SN Chaturvedi was quoted by ANI as saying, "Next hearing on commission report. Wall should be broken, survey should be done. Will ask for carbon dating to be done."
"It should be ensured that temple demolished by Aurangzeb is place of Lord Vishweshwar and Hindus should get their rights."
Jaipur Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Ramcharan Bohra tweeted, "This is the initial victory of the Hindu side, heartiest congratulations to all the parties."
"If the judgment comes in our favour, then we will seek an Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey, carbon dating of Shivling," advocate VS Jain, was earlier quoted as saying by news agency ANI on Monday morning.
The communally sensitive case was heard by the district court following a court order by the Supreme Court.