District Court’s decision on Gyanvapi highly questionable, sought time from Prez: AIMPLB

New Delhi, (UNI) The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) on Friday expressed its deep regret and concern over the abrupt initiation of puja in the cellar of Gayanvapi mosque, marked by the overnight breaking of iron grills and placement of idols.

Talking to reporters, the office-bearers of the AIMPLB said, “We express deep surprise and disappointment at the judgement rendered by the Varanasi District Judge. In our perspective, this decision seems to rely on a highly incorrect and unfounded argument, asserting that the family of Somnath Vyas used to worship in the basement of the Gyanvapi Masjid until 1993 and it was closed on the state government’s orders.”

In a statement, the AIMPLB sad, “The swift initiation of this action, despite the court granting a seven-day window for the administration to make necessary arrangements, raises questions about apparent collusion between the administration and the plaintiff, attempting to foreclose any effort by the Mosque Managing Committee to pursue remedies against the District Court order.”

The AIMPLB said, “It is imperative to clarify that no puja was ever conducted in this basement. The District Judge’s decision, based on an absurd and baseless claim, is highly questionable, specially given its timing on the last day of his service. Equally concerning is the unilateral disclosure of the archaeological survey report by the Hindu side to the press, causing turmoil in society. Importantly, this report is currently merely a claim, as it has not been discussed or confirmed in the court.”

The Board said the expeditious execution of the district court’s order by the administration was evidently aimed at undermining the right of the mosque party to seek immediate relief from the High Court. “Likewise, we believe that the district court should have afforded the mosque party an opportunity to appeal, as it is its legal right,” it said.

It said, “The issue extends beyond the Gyanvapi Masjid as baseless claims are persistently made on places of worship like the Shahi Eidgah of Mathura, the Sunheri Masjid Delhi along with numerous mosques and Waqf properties across the country.”

The Board said this trend of unwarranted claims on various places of worship raises serious concerns. “The continued silence on the Place of Worship Act 1991 by the Supreme Court has become a source of deep worry for the Muslim community in the country,” it said.

The AIMPLB said in a democratic system, the courts serve as the last resort for justice. “The recent comments of SC Advocate Dushyant Dave about the judiciary becoming a ‘majoritarian judiciary’ and that the judiciary is remaining silent while several transgressions of law are taking place at the instance of the Executive’ are deeply concerning,” it said.

It said the profound commentary from a senior lawyer on the judicial system of the country signals a potentially disastrous future. “Numerous court decisions seem to align with the sentiments expressed by this distinguished lawyer, reflecting the concerns of minorities and oppressed classes in the country,” it said.

The Board said that this matter goes beyond preserving the dignity of the courts as it is also about safeguarding minority communities and marginalised sections from feelings deprived and frustrated.

“We believe that this time the dignity of the country and the impartiality of the judicial system and administrative affairs have been grossly compromised. It is the prime responsibility of all constitutional officials to take timely notice of it,” it said.

The board said in this critical hour, as representatives of Indian Muslims, its office-bearers have requested time to communicate these concerns to the President, who holds the highest office in the country. “We hope that, at her level, she can take steps to address these issues. Additionally, we intend to convey the sentiments of the Muslim community to the Chief Justice of India in a respectful and appropriate manner. We hope that they can use their influence to address this situation and protect the principles of justice and equality that underpin our democratic nation,” it said.

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