Varanasi District Judge Consolidates 8 Pending Suits on Gyanvapi Dispute for Joint Hearing

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By Legal Referencer

In a significant development, a Varanasi court has granted permission to consolidate eight Gyanvapi-related suits that were pending before different courts. The application seeking consolidation of these suits was successfully moved before the court. As a result, all the related matters will now be heard collectively by the district judge’s court.

District Judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha, in his ruling today, emphasized the importance of trying and consolidating these cases as a unified entity. Recognizing the interconnected nature of the suits and the shared underlying issues, the judge made the decision to consolidate them for the sake of efficiency and coherence in the legal proceedings.

This order reflects the court’s commitment to streamlining the litigation process and ensuring a comprehensive examination of all aspects of the Gyanvapi dispute. By consolidating the cases, the court aims to avoid duplication, conflicting decisions, and unnecessary delays. Consolidation allows for a more holistic understanding of the dispute and enables the court to address all relevant arguments and evidence in a consolidated manner.

The decision to consolidate these suits is expected to facilitate a more streamlined and focused legal process, allowing for a comprehensive evaluation of the Gyanvapi-related issues. This consolidation ensures that all parties involved will have their claims and arguments heard and considered together, ultimately leading to a more efficient and consistent resolution of the dispute.

As these consolidated cases proceed, the court’s ruling serves as a significant step forward in addressing the Gyanvapi dispute and ensuring a fair and impartial hearing. It signifies the court’s commitment to effectively manage multiple related cases and underscores the importance of a unified approach in resolving complex legal matters.

The court of the district judge has expressed its opinion that, in the interest of justice, it would be advantageous to try all the mentioned suits together and consolidate them. The court has determined that it will decide these suits and proceedings based on the evidence presented in any of these consolidated cases. Specifically, the civil suit numbered 693/2021 (now referred to as O.S. No.-18/2022) titled “Smt. Rakhi Singh and others Versus State of U.P. and others” will be considered the leading case, and evidence will be recorded accordingly in that particular case.

The court’s decision reflects its inclination towards efficiency and fairness by consolidating the suits and avoiding duplicative efforts. By trying the cases collectively, the court aims to streamline the judicial process and prevent conflicting judgments on the same matter. The selection of a leading case allows for the orderly recording of evidence, ensuring a systematic and comprehensive examination of the issues at hand.

This approach also provides clarity to all parties involved, as the consolidated suits will be decided based on the evidence presented in the leading case. This ensures consistency in the evaluation of evidence and arguments across all related proceedings. By designating a leading case, the court establishes a framework for presenting evidence and facilitates a more organized and coherent hearing.

The court’s decision underscores its commitment to expediting the resolution of these suits while upholding the principles of justice. It prioritizes the efficient utilization of judicial resources and aims to deliver a well-informed and consistent decision based on the evidence presented. Through this consolidation and designation of a leading case, the court aims to achieve a fair and just outcome for all parties involved in the Gyanvapi dispute.

The court’s order was based on the provisions of Section 4A of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), which was inserted by Uttar Pradesh Act 57 of 1976. According to this section, when multiple suits or proceedings are pending in the same court, and the court deems it advantageous in the interest of justice, it has the authority to direct their joint trial through an order. Consequently, all the suits and proceedings involved may be decided based on the evidence presented in any or all of the consolidated suits or proceedings.

Section 4A of the CPC empowers the court to promote efficiency and fairness by consolidating related cases and avoiding unnecessary duplication. It recognizes the importance of a consolidated approach in resolving disputes that share common legal or factual issues. The court, in line with this provision, exercises its discretion to order a joint trial when it deems it necessary for the interest of justice.

By allowing the suits and proceedings to be decided based on the evidence presented in any of the consolidated cases, the court ensures a comprehensive examination of all relevant evidence and arguments. This provision enables a holistic assessment of the issues involved, taking into account the evidence presented in multiple cases. It also prevents conflicting judgments by promoting consistency in the decision-making process.

The court’s reliance on Section 4A of the CPC demonstrates its adherence to the statutory framework and its commitment to facilitating a just and efficient resolution of the disputes. By utilizing this provision, the court seeks to harmonize the proceedings and promote a streamlined approach that serves the interest of justice.

The District Judge’s decision to consolidate the suits was significantly influenced by the order of the Supreme Court issued on November 11, 2022. In that order, the Supreme Court had made an observation stating that if an application is filed before the District Judge in Varanasi regarding similar suits, it would be within the purview of the District Judge to assess whether the consolidation of those suits is appropriate.

By considering the Supreme Court’s directive, the District Judge recognized the importance of following the higher court’s guidance in matters of consolidation. The Supreme Court’s order empowered the District Judge to exercise discretion and determine whether the consolidation of the similar suits would be warranted.

Gyanvapi Dispute

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This acknowledgment of the Supreme Court’s order highlights the court’s commitment to upholding the hierarchical structure of the judiciary and respecting the authority and wisdom of higher courts. It also signifies the District Judge’s responsibility to carefully consider relevant judicial precedents and legal principles when making decisions.

The District Judge’s decision to take into account the Supreme Court’s order is indicative of a thoughtful and conscientious approach to the consolidation of the suits. By aligning with the Supreme Court’s observations, the District Judge ensures that the consolidation process is conducted in accordance with established legal principles and guidelines.

Ultimately, the District Judge’s consideration of the Supreme Court’s order adds legitimacy to the decision to consolidate the suits. It demonstrates the court’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and the importance of following precedents set by higher judicial authorities. By incorporating the Supreme Court’s guidance, the District Judge strives to promote consistency and fairness in the legal proceedings related to the Gyanvapi dispute.

Plaintiffs 2 to 5, namely Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas, and Rekha Pathak, filed a plea in suit no. 18/2022 to transfer the Gyanvapi Dispute cases to the Court of the District Judge. Their argument centered on the similarity of these suits and the potential benefits of consolidating them. They contended that consolidating the suits for joint trial would result in time and cost savings for the public, as well as mitigate legal complexities.

The plaintiffs presented their case by emphasizing the common nature of these suits. They believed that due to the shared nature of the legal issues and factual background, trying these suits together would promote efficiency and prevent unnecessary duplication of efforts. They further argued that consolidation would lead to considerable savings of public resources and alleviate the burden of legal complexities that could arise from separate proceedings.

The plea put forth by the plaintiffs underscored the practical advantages of consolidating the cases. By uniting these suits, the plaintiffs sought to streamline the legal process, reduce the time required for resolution, and minimize the financial burden associated with multiple proceedings. Their objective was to optimize the utilization of judicial resources and provide a more accessible and expeditious resolution to the Gyanvapi Dispute.

In moving this plea, the plaintiffs highlighted the importance of considering the public interest in judicial matters. They recognized the potential strain that multiple, similar suits could impose on the court system and sought to address these concerns by advocating for consolidation. Their plea aimed to prioritize the efficient administration of justice while upholding the principles of fairness and accessibility for all parties involved.

Suit no. 18/2022, which was initiated by five Hindu women devotees, aimed to secure year-long access for prayers at a Hindu shrine situated behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi. This suit played a pivotal role in the ongoing Gyanvapi dispute.

Currently, there are a total of seven cases related to the Gyanvapi dispute. Six of these cases are pending in the court of the civil judge (senior division), while the remaining one is before the fast-track court of the civil judge (senior division). It is worth noting that the case being heard in the Fast Track Court was filed by Lord Vishweshwar Virajman (Swayambhu) through his next-friend Kiran Singh, who serves as the international general secretary of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh (VVSS). This particular case seeks the transfer of possession of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises to ‘Lord Adi Vishweshwar Virajman.

The involvement of the Hindu women worshippers in suit no. 18/2022 highlights their desire to have uninterrupted access to offer prayers at the Hindu shrine within the Gyanvapi Mosque complex throughout the year. Their plea to consolidate the cases reflects their belief that treating all these suits as a collective entity would not only save time and money but also avoid potential legal complications.

Among the seven pending cases, suit no. 18/2022 holds particular significance due to its connection to the Hindu shrine and the issue of year-long access for prayers. The suit filed by Lord Vishweshwar Virajman (Swayambhu) through Kiran Singh adds another dimension to the dispute, as it seeks the transfer of possession of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises to the deity ‘Lord Adi Vishweshwar Virajman.

The presence of multiple cases before different courts necessitates a unified and consolidated approach to address the Gyanvapi dispute comprehensively. By considering the consolidation of these suits, the court can avoid duplication, conflicting decisions, and unnecessary delays. It provides an opportunity for all parties involved to present their arguments and evidence collectively, promoting a more efficient and holistic resolution of the dispute.

The ongoing legal proceedings surrounding the Gyanvapi dispute highlight the complex and sensitive nature of the case. As the various suits progress, it is crucial for the court to carefully evaluate the claims and ensure a fair and impartial decision that respects the rights and beliefs of all parties involved.

In suit no. 18/2022, Kiran Singh initially served as the first petitioner. However, due to differences with the other four women plaintiffs, who were supported by Advocate Hari Shankar Jain, she decided to separate from them in May 2022. Following this, Kiran Singh proceeded to file a fresh suit, which is currently pending before the Fast Track Court.

It is noteworthy that the Fast Track Court deemed the said suit maintainable in November of the previous year. This ruling signifies that the court recognized the legal validity of Kiran Singh’s suit and allowed it to proceed for further consideration.

The case holds significant importance due to the dispute surrounding the religious nature of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises. The Varanasi court has concluded that there are doubts regarding the religious character of the premises, indicating that the nature and historical significance of the site remain subject to scrutiny.

Additionally, the court has determined that the Places of Worship Act does not bar a Hindu party from filing a suit concerning the premises. This ruling suggests that the Act does not impede the rights of a Hindu party to approach the court and seek legal remedies in matters related to places of worship.

The details and intricacies of the case can be found in the reference provided: “Religious Nature Of Gyanvapi Mosque Premises ‘Doubtful’, Places Of Worship Act No Bar To Hindu Party’s Suit: Varanasi Court.” This source sheds more light on the legal arguments and considerations surrounding the Gyanvapi Mosque dispute, offering a comprehensive understanding of the court’s position on the matter.


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