On Thursday, the Varanasi court ordered the Director-General of Archaeological Survey of India for a complete physical survey of the disputed Kashi Vishwanath Temple Gyanvyapi Mosque complex. The court also said to “find out as to whether the religious structure standing at present at the disputed site is a superimposition, alteration or addition or there is a structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any religious structure”.
The Act, conveyed by the P V Narasimha Rao – led Congress government at the time of Ram temple movement, applies to the disputed the Krishna Janmabhoomi Temple – Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura and Kashi Vishwanath Temple – Gyanvyapi Mosque complex in Varanasi – these two places were part of the temple campaigns once, later shielded by the 1991 law.
What Supreme Court Says?
The Supreme Court of India said in its landmarking November 2019 ruling on the Ram Janmabhoomi – Babri Masjid title suit that turned in the favour of the Hindu parties, also underlined that the Act is “a legislative intervention that preserves non-retrogression as an essential feature of our secular values”.
Vijay Shankar Rastogi rejected the defendant arguments saying that “it has been well settled that the revenue entry cannot be termed as conclusive evidence establishing the title of the person whose name has been mutated”.
The Sunni Central Waqf Board and the Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid had objected to the petition filed and said they will knock on the door to a higher court.
The judge noted that the plaintiff had said the “temple existed since time immemorial”. King Vikramaditya had rebuilt the temple 2050 years ago and again it was rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Akbar. The plaintiff also said that following April 18, 1669, Farman from Emperor Aurangzeb, local officials ruined the temple of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar and constructed a mosque”.
Vijay Rastogi said that three persons named Sanskrit professor Dr Ramrang Sharma, Pandit Somnath Vyas whose ancestors were priests of the temple, social worker Harihar Pandey – filed the original petition in 1991.
Moreover, he said that the Allahabad High Court had earlier stayed the matter in 1998. Mr Rastogi also added that against the matter of Central Bureau of Investigation and Asian Resurfacing of Road Agency the Supreme Court in 2018 ruled that any stay order that is extended beyond a period of six months will be considered void.
Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board chairman Zufar Farooqui said they will be challenging the Allahabad High Court order. He said that our understanding is clear that the Special Provisions Act, 1991, lines this case.