File image: Security forces outside the Gyanvapi mosque complex on May 17. Photo: PTI.

New Delhi: A Varanasi district court on Monday, September 12, dismissed the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s plea citing the Places of Worship Act and held that the Hindu women’s petition seeking year-round access to what they claimed was the ‘Maa Shringar Gauri shrine’ located behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi mosque complex was maintainable.

Seeta Sahu, one of the five Hindu petitioners, told The Wire, “We are absolutely thrilled and delighted. In fact we want to put in another petition to clear out the area where our Mahadev has been found. We want to worship our deity.”

District Judge A.K. Vishvesh had last month reserved the order till September 12 in the matter that has seen communal debates.

He has now rejected the Committee’s Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application challenging the maintainability of the women’s contention to be allowed to worship there.

The committee had cited the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which says that the religious character of place of worship will continue as it existed on on August 15, 1947.

The suit filed by the Hindu worshippers is not barred by The Places of Worship Act or the Waqf Act, he said in court today, according to LiveLaw.

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