The Supreme Court will hear the management of the Gyanvapi mosque’s appeal against the survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, on Tuesday.
The petition will be heard by the Supreme Court amid a significant development, with a Varanasi court ordering the district administration to seal the survey site inside the complex where the surveying crew purportedly discovered a’shivling.’
According to the Supreme Court’s amended order of business for Tuesday, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha will hear the petition of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which oversees the activities of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque.
A panel led by Chief Justice N V Ramana issued a written decision on Friday ordering the case to be heard by a bench led by Justice Chandrachud.
On Friday, the bench, however, denied the Muslim side’s request for an interim order of status quo against the ongoing inspection of the sacred complex.
However, the CJI-led bench agreed to consider scheduling a hearing on the plea.
“We believe it appropriate to direct the Registry to list the matter before the bench presided by by Dr. Justice D Y Chandrachud,” the bench, which also included Justices J K Maheshwari and Hima Kohli, stated in its decision.
Mr Ahmadi, representing the mosque committee, informed the bench that a complaint had been made against the survey being undertaken at the site, and that an urgent interim order had been requested in the matter.
“We have filed in connection with a survey that has been ordered in reference to the Varanasi property.” The senior lawyer had stated, “This (Gyanvapi) has been a mosque since time immemorial and this is plainly interdicted under the Places of Worship Act.”
The Muslim side has cited Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the filing of any suit or commencing any other legal proceeding for the modification of a place of worship’s religious character, as it existed on August 15, 1947.
On May 12, a Varanasi local court denied a request to replace the attorney commissioner it had chosen to undertake a videography survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex, and ordered the assignment to be completed by May 17.
Two more lawyers were assigned by the district court to assist the advocate commissioner in surveying the mosque, which is near to the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple.
If there are attempts to sabotage the exercise, the police must file FIRs.
A group of ladies had petitioned the local court on May 12 to allow daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are positioned on the mosque’s outer wall.
The mosque’s management committee had spoken out against recording inside the mosque and accused the court-appointed commissioner of bias. The survey was temporarily halted due to objections.
According to the counsel for Hindu petitioners, Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar also dismissed objections to the opening of the two locked basements of the mosque complex for the survey.
The court also ordered the district magistrate and police commissioner to keep an eye on the survey and file a FIR if any obstacles arise.
It stated that the survey could be conducted daily between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex until it was completed.
Judge Diwakar ordered a video graphics inspection of the mosque on April 18, 2021, in response to a petition from Delhi citizens Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu, and others.
The original complaint was filed in the Varanasi district court in 1991 for the restoration of the ancient temple on the site of the Gyanvapi mosque.
The plea was made in a lawsuit alleging that the mosque is a part of the temple.