Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar. Photo: X/@DiwakarJudge

By Omar Rashid

New Delhi: In an unusual event even by the standards of the lower judiciary in Uttar Pradesh, a judge – while invoking serious criminal charges including attempt to murder against a prominent Muslim cleric-politician for communal violence in Bareilly in 2010 – has hailed chief minister Adityanath as a great example of a “religious person” holding a seat of power.

In the same order, the judge makes a string of controversial and debatable observations – from praising Adityanath for his religious background to blaming alleged “appeasement” of a particular community by political parties for riots in the country and referring to his own record in the Gyanvapi Masjid legal battle and threats received by him from Muslim groups.

The judge even said that a copy of his order should be sent to Adityanath so that the chief minister could take action against those senior police officers and officials who allegedly assisted the accused Muslim cleric Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan and did not act as per law at the behest of the then government (UP was under the rule of the Bahujan Samaj Party at the time).

Ravi Kumar Diwakar, additional district judge-fast track court in Bareilly, who passed the order, while serving as a judge in Varanasi in 2022 had passed controversial directions regarding the Gyanvapi Masjid. Diwakar, as civil judge senior division, had ordered the sealing of a portion of the Mughal-era mosque after Hindu plaintiffs claimed that a stone found in the ablution tank there was a “shivling”. Judge Diwakar had given his nod to videography inside the Gyanvapi Masjid by a court-appointed advocate commissioner on a petition filed by five Hindu plaintiffs demanding daily access to prayer to a ‘Maa Shringar Gauri’ they claimed was located outside the western wall of the mosque.

This story was originally published in thewire.in. Read the full story here.