The Varanasi District Court on Tuesday ordered that seven cases related to the Gyanvapi Mosque complex will be heard together.
Varanasi District Judge AK Vishwesh exercised his special power and consolidated the seven cases despite objections, said Rajesh Mishra, Special Advocate for Gyanvapi and Adi Vishweshwar cases.
Vishwesh in his order said if all these cases remain pending in different courts, there is a possibility that contradictory orders may be passed.
Whereas if all these cases remain in one court, there will be no possibility of any contradictory judgment or order in all these cases, Mishra quoted the judge as saying.
Citing Order 4A of the CPC, Vishwesh said it has been provided that when two or more cases are pending in the same court and the court is of the opinion that it is in the interest of justice, their joint hearing may be ordered, Mishra said.
Vishwesh said in his order that it would be in the interest of justice that all these cases be heard together, said Mishra.
Advocate Mohammad Tohid Khan, who appeared for the Muslim petitioners, opposed the hearing of all the seven cases together, stressing that the issues related to Gyanvapi had not yet reached the stage that a decision should be taken to hear them together.
As of now, the court should have seen the evidence of all the cases. Had the evidence been the same, then it would have been just to give such a verdict, said Khan.
The five litigants in the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi case had urged the court to hear the seven cases together. They filed a plea in August 2021 to seek rights to pray daily before Hindu idols on the outer walls of Gyanvapi Mosque. In the hearing of the petition, a videography survey was ordered. During the survey, a 'Shivling' was found close to the "wazookhana" —ablution pond— in the mosque. There is also a case related to the carbon-dating of this 'Shivling'. The mosque committee has opposed the claim, saying it was not a Shivling but a fountain.
(With PTI inputs)