Gyanvyapi land dispute case: Allahabad HC stays Varanasi court’s order to commence hearing

HC had imposed interim stay on hearings in October 1998 in case involving Kashi Vishwanath temple and Gyanvyapi mosque that share common premises

Gyanvapi land dispute

For decades, the land dispute between the Kashi Vishwanath temple and the Gyanvapi mosque has been fodder for controversy and hate mongering by right wing supremacist groups, not very unlike the Ayodhya dispute.

It is alleged that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had razed the temple in 1664 and the mosque was built on its ruins using the temple’s debris. Hostilities simmered over time and the dispute went to court when the title suit was filed in 1991. The two parties in this case were Kashi Vishwanath Mandir Trust (KVMT) and the Anjuman Intazamia Masjid (AIM). But back then, the Allahabad High Court had imposed a temporary stay on hearings in the case via an order dated October 13, 1998.

However, on February 4, 2020, a local court decided to commence hearings in the case stating that the HC’s order had not been extended within six months with a separate order, and that therefore the stay was deemed to have been vacated. This prompted the AIM to move HC against this decision. The HC has now ordered that the stay be maintained and also invited members of the Bar to assist the court in the matter. The case has been adjourned to March 17.



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