Gyanvapi case: Petitioners to oppose plea to remove official

Published on May 09, 2022 03:26 AM IST
It comes a day after Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, filed the petition in the court of civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking Ajai Kumar’s removal alleging him of being “bias”. After hearing the petition on Saturday, the court posted the matter for Monday.
The Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 
The Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh 
By, Hindustan Times, Varanasi

Advocates representing the petitioners in Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri temple case in Varanasi on Sunday said they will oppose a petition filed before a civil judge that sought removal or replacement of the court-appointed advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar, tasked to survey the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal in the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex.

It comes a day after Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, filed the petition in the court of civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking Ajai Kumar’s removal alleging him of being “bias”. After hearing the petition on Saturday, the court posted the matter for Monday.

“We will file an objection in the court of civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar on May 9 against the petition filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee seeking removal of advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar,” said Sudhir Tripathi, who is one of the advocates representing the plaintiffs — Rakhi Singh, Manju Vyas, Sita Sahu and Rekha Pathak.

The petitioners in their plea filed last year sought the permission to perform daily worship of deities Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi whose idols are on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

“The allegation by the lawyers of the mosque committee that the advocate commissioner is biased and conducting the survey keeping in view the interest of the plaintiffs is completely baseless. The advocate commissioner conducted the proceedings of the survey in a quite fair (way). We will urge the court that the advocate commissioner should not be changed,” Tripathi added.

Tripathi and advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi will also apprise the court that the survey hit a hurdle on Saturday as Ajai Kumar and his team were stopped from entering Gyanvapi premises by lawyers representing the mosque committee and people associated with it, said another advocate associated with the matter.

Abhay Nath Yadav, one of the advocates of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, said, “We filed a petition in the court of the civil Judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, urging the court to remove or replace the advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar with a senior lawyer because (on the first day) he conducted the proceeding of the survey as per wish of the advocates of the petitioners (seeking permission for daily worship at Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal).”

Kumar was appointed as the advocate commissioner in the case, titled Rakhi Singh and others vs UP state and Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, by the local court on April 8.

After hearing the matter, the court directed the plaintiffs and advocate commissioner to present their side in the court on May 9, said Yadav.

A copy of the order by the court was delivered to the advocate commissioner and the petitioners, he said, adding they have been directed to come with all documents and evidences to present their side.

SM Yasin, joint secretary of the mosque committee, on April 30, said that no one would be allowed to enter the mosque for the survey.

There has been a protest over the survey of several deities, including Shringar Gauri, located in Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath temple premises and the Gyanvapi Masjid complex.

Court-appointed official and a team of lawyers conducted an inspection at Gyanvapi Masjid on Friday in connection with a plea seeking access to a Hindu temple behind it. The survey and videography at the mosque also continued on Sunday.

On Saturday, the advocate commissioner with his team arrived for the survey and videography of many deities, including Shringar Gauri, located in the Gyanvapi complex, Varanasi. But the survey could not start as the advocates of the mosque management committee, who arrived about an hour after the survey team, opposed it.

A huge crowd gathered outside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi complex and shouted slogans. Police personnel drove them away. One person was taken into custody. On Friday, too, some slogan-shouting was witnessed when the court-ordered survey began under tight security in Varanasi.

The court of the civil judge (senior division) of Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar, on April 26 had ordered videography of the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal by the advocate commissioner.

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Tuesday, August 09, 2022
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