‘Creating illegal evidence’: Varansi court order on Gyanvapi Mosque draws flak

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The order passed by the Varanasi court to seal off certain portion of the Gyanvapi mosque in Indian state of Uttar Pradesh after dubbing a sharpened iron rod as ‘Shivling’ without hearing the version of the mosque’s side has drawn the ire of the lawyers and activists.

Mohammed Tauheed Khan from the lawyers representing the mosque committee, said that the sharpened iron rod, which is being claimed to be a Shivling, is installed for fountains and accused the court of passing an order without hearing their version and investigating it.

“That is definitely not Shivling. Actually, it is a part of a technique set up for bringing out the fountain. It is set up around the technique and it also has holes to bring out water. Calling it Shivling is entirely wrong,” he said while speaking to media.

Terming the court order “biased” and against the law, Khan pointed out that the court has not followed the due process by passing the order. They have not been provided with a copy of Hindu side’s application. “The rule is that if an application is filed without any date, a hearing is conducted on the application at 2 PM. They have not followed any such rule,” Khan said.

The natural justice would be that both parties are heard by the court in any matter. In this case, nothing of the kind happened, he said.

He said they are discussing the order and looking at the possibilities of how they could avail relief in this case.

On Monday, following a survey of the mosque, advocates, Madan Mohan Yadav and Vishnu Jain, the lawyers who are representing the Hindu side, claimed that there is a Shivling in the wuzukhana area of the mosque. Soon after their claim, an order has been passed by the court approving their claim.

Talking to media, Apoorvanand, prominent human rights activist, described the developments related to Gyanvapi mosque “very dangerous and serious” and called the court order “violation” of the 1991 Worship act.

“It should concern all citizens. The Supreme Court should have taken cognizance of the matter… It was very clear that the so-called Hindu side is trying to find a way. The court which allowed it has obliged them. The bias was very clear. It is very dangerous,” said Apoorvanand.

He pointed out that the court is altering the nature of that religious place which they can’t do. “They are creating a dispute and the court itself is creating a dispute,” he said.

Reacting to the court order, M R Shamsad, a Supreme Court lawyer who was involved in Babri case, told media that illegal evidence has been created through the court “which will have the effect of creating law and order problems”.

“Is this the way one treats religious places of minorities in the country? Whatever happens tomorrow about the orders passed today or earlier, should we not agree that the order passed today is a completely illegal? Irrespective of whether this order is stayed or not by the higher courts it has succeeded in creating illegal evidence through the court process,” said Shamsad.

He reminded the court of the 1991 Act in which the Supreme Court stated that the act ” protects and secures the fundamental values of the Constitution.

Criticising the narrative of historical wrongs, he said, “Even if the courts want to correct historical wrongs as set up by the plaintiffs, can that be done? Under the pretext of historical wrong, fabricated history is being used as an instrument to oppress a section of the present generation. Sad”

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