Gyanvapi: SC Agrees to Hear Masjid Committee’s Plea Challenging HC Order  


The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an appeal from the Gyanvapi management committee challenging an order of the Allahabad High Court, which affirmed the maintainability of lawsuits for the “restoration” of a temple located where the mosque stands in Varanasi.

“We will tag this with the main case,” a bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra stated.

The plea before the apex court was filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, the committee responsible for managing the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque.

On December 19,2023, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed pleas challenging the maintainability of a 1991 suit seeking the “restoration” of a temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque stands.

The High Court emphasized that the “religious character” of a disputed place can only be determined by the court.

It had rejected five related petitions, filed over the years by the mosque committee and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board, concerning maintainability and against a survey of the mosque premises.

The High Court ruled that the suit filed before the district court is not barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the “conversion” of the “religious character” of a place from what existed on August 15, 1947.

The suit was initiated by petitioners seeking the right to worship in the Gyanvapi mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple. Muslim litigants had contested its maintainability, citing the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte