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HC adjourns hearing on plea challenging order allowing puja in Gyanvapi mosque cellar

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Prayagraj, Feb 7 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday adjourned to February 12 the hearing on a plea challenging the Varanasi district court order allowing Hindu prayers in a cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

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Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal heard both the Hindu and Muslim sides on the Gyanvapi mosque committee's appeal and posted the matter for February 12.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, which looks after the affairs of the mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, had filed the plea on Friday last week.

On Tuesday, appearing on behalf of the Muslim side, senior advocate SFA Naqvi submitted that by the order of January 31, district judge A K Vishvesha had given final relief sought in the suit at the initial stage, which cannot be permitted.

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Naqvi had also submitted before the court that the order was passed in a "very hurried manner" and on the day of retirement of the judge concerned.

Judge A K Vishvesha retired from service on January 31.

On behalf of the Hindu side, Vishnu Shankar Jain submitted on Tuesday that the order for appointing a receiver was passed on January 17 and the court order for offering puja was passed on January 31.

The mosque committee moved the high court on February 2 within hours of the Supreme Court refusing to hear its plea against the Varanasi district court order and asking it to approach the high court.

The Varanasi district court had ruled on January 31 that a priest can perform prayers before the idols in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque. PTI COR SNS KVK KVK

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