The Allahabad High Court has deferred its decision on a petition challenging the legitimacy of a lawsuit seeking the "restoration" of a temple at the Gyanvapi mosque site in Varanasi. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agrawal reserved judgment after hearing arguments from both sides, with the court yet to announce a future date for the case, according to media reports. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee of Varanasi and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board are disputing the original suit filed in 1991, which calls for the reinstatement of an ancient temple at the mosque's current location, asserting that the mosque was originally part of the templ.
In a noteworthy development, an order dated August 28, issued by the former Chief Justice Pritinkar Diwakar, transferred the case from Justice Prakash Padia to himself. The reasoning behind the transfer was explained as the single judge's extended tenure, exceeding two years, despite lacking jurisdiction as per the roster. Justice Diwakar emphasized the decision's administrative nature, citing the importance of judicial propriety, discipline, and transparency in case listings. Following Justice Diwakar's retirement on November 22, Justice Agrawal inherited the case.
S F A Naqvi, representing the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, highlighted that the petition also challenges a Varanasi court's directive to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, issued on April 8, 2021.