A Varanasi court on Thursday rejected a plea seeking directions to register a first information report against All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi and Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav for making allegedly controversial remarks related to the Gyanvapi mosque case, Live Law reported.

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Ujjawal Upadhyay said that no cognisable offence could be made out against the two leaders from the allegations made in the plea.

The magistrate noted that the state administration, which is responsible for maintenance of law and order, had not taken any action against Owaisi and Yadav. There is no ground to intervene into the authorities’ decision to not take any action, he added.

In his plea, Advocate Harishankar Pandey had accused Owaisi and Yadav of inciting religious hatred by making controversial remarks against a purported “shivling” found inside the Gyanvapi mosque.

An oval-shaped object, said to be an idol representing the Hindu deity Shiva, was found during a survey of the mosque complex in May. However, the lawyer of the mosque management committee had claimed that the object is not a shivling, but a part of a stone fountain in the mosque’s wazu khana, or ablution tank.

At the time, Yadav had accused the Bharatiya Janata Party of dividing the society on communal grounds and creating fear among Muslims, according to India Today. Meanwhile, Owaisi had alleged that followers of Nathuram Godse – Mahatma Gandhi’s assassin – were raking up issues to spread hatred in the country against Muslims.

The Gyanvapi case

In May, a Varanasi civil court had allowed for a video survey of the mosque, which found that an oval object was present on the premises. Based on the plaintiff’s submission, the civil court ordered the area where the oval object was found to be sealed.

When the mosque committee appealed against the civil court order, the Supreme Court, on May 17, directed that the object found during the survey be protected.

It also transferred the case to the district court in Varanasi, ordering it to decide first on the maintainability of the suit under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, which lays down the conditions when certain pleas will be barred.

On September 12, District Judge AK Vishvesha dismissed the mosque committee’s application and held that the petitioners’ plea to worship Hindu gods was maintainable and could be heard further.

The judge accepted the argument by the Hindu plaintiffs that they did not want to convert the religious nature of the mosque. The court said that the Hindus only wanted to worship the deities inside the mosque complex, something they did incessantly till 1993 and once a year after that.