New Legal Challenge Filed Against Land Swap in Gyanvapi Case

A new legal challenge has surfaced in the ongoing Gyanvapi controversy, as a petition was filed in court challenging the land swap agreement involving the iconic Kashi Vishwanath Temple. This case revolves around a plot of land acquired for the development of the Vishwanath Corridor, a project aimed at expanding the temple premises.

The petition, filed by Nityanand Rai, former Secretary of the Varanasi Bar Association, seeks to question the legitimacy of the land swap executed between the Uttar Pradesh government and the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee. This legal move targets the exchange mechanism that facilitated the corridor’s expansion, alleging haste and improper handling by the committee to advantageously change the property’s nature received in the swap.

The petitioner, representing a devout Hindu group, emphasizes the spiritual and cultural significance of the Aadi Vishweshwar Temple, widely known as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, a major place of worship in Varanasi. They argue that any encroachments or alterations to the temple’s lands should be strictly monitored and prevented.

The contested land swap was formalized on July 10, 2021, when it was registered under Deputy Registrar II. The petitioner challenges the validity of this agreement, citing procedural anomalies and demanding that the transaction be declared null and void. The petition further seeks a declaration that all land within the temple precincts should rightfully belong to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, preserving its sanctity and ownership rights.

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Legal representatives Deshratna Srivastava and Supreme Court Advocate Gaurav Singh have informed the court that the mosque committee intends to change the nature of the house acquired in the swap, urging the court to exempt this case from the mandatory notice under Section 80 of the Civil Procedure Code and to fast-track the proceedings based on the merits of the case.

This development adds another layer to the complex legal and religious disputes surrounding the spiritual hubs.

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