Supreme Court orders Varanasi court not to hear the Gyanvapi mosque matter until Friday

19 May, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

Supreme Court today ordered the Varanasi civil court not to proceed with the issue involving the Gyanvapi mosque until May 20, when it will hear the matter.

Supreme Court today ordered the Varanasi civil court not to proceed with the issue involving the Gyanvapi mosque until May 20, when it will hear the matter.

After the Hindu side’s lawyer requested that the matter be heard tomorrow, a panel of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and PS Narasimha delayed the hearing until Friday at 3 p.m. It then requested that the Varanasi trial court refrain from hearing the case today. Due to the physical condition of senior lawyer Hari Shankar Jain, advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, acting for Hindu petitioners before the trial court, requested a one-day adjournment.

Anjuman Intezamia Masajid’s senior counsel Hazefa Ahmadi opposed to the extension, stating that the trial court is hearing motions to remodel the Wazukhana of the Gyanvapi mosque today.

Today, senior lawyer Ahmadi requested a suspension of the civil court proceedings.

Justice Chandrachud responded “We will keep it tomorrow but don’t proceed before the trial court today because they have apprehension.”

The matter will not be brought before the Varanasi court today, according to Jain.

The bench declared in the judgement, “We consequently direct the trial court to strictly act in accordance with the arrangement as here and to refrain from giving any orders.”

The Committee’s appeal against a Varanasi district court judgement ordering a video graphics survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which is close to Varanasi’s Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was placed before the Supreme Court today.

The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the competent District Magistrate in Varanasi to ensure that the Shivling recovered from the Gyanvapi Mosque complex during a court commissioner’s survey is protected.

It had ruled that the instruction to protect the area where Shivling is situated not restrict or obstruct Muslims’ access to the mosque or their use of it for prayer and religious observances.

The Supreme Court overturned a Varanasi district court order prohibiting Muslims from accessing Gyanvapi Mosque. Only 20 persons were allowed to pray inside the premises by the trial court.

On the Masjid Committee’s appeal, the Supreme Court had also issued notice to Hindu petitioners, the Uttar Pradesh government, and others.

The Court had turned down the Muslim side’s request for a stay of proceedings in the district court.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the state of Uttar Pradesh, objected to the relaxation of the ban on Muslims entering the region, claiming that the government is concerned that touching the area where the Shivling is discovered may worsen the law and order situation.

After hearing that a Shivaling was discovered inside the Gyanvapi mosque grounds by the court-appointed attorney Commissioner during the assessment, a Varanasi district court ordered the sealing of a place in the complex on Monday.

The Committee that runs the Gyanvapi mosque filed the appeal in response to an order by the Allahabad High Court allowing a court-appointed commissioner to visit, survey, and videotape the Gyanvapi mosque, where Hindus and Muslims both claim the right to worship.

It has requested permission to continue surveying the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.

A civil court in Varanasi has ordered a survey to inspect, film, and gather evidence about the supposed presence of Hindu deities within the Gyanvapi mosque, which is located near to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

Despite mosque leaders’ concerns, the court decided on May 12 to continue the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

The authorities were ordered by the local court to deliver a report by May 10, but the survey was cancelled because the mosque committee rejected videography inside the mosque.

The civil court had assigned a court commissioner to conduct a survey and videography of the site, but the appeal was denied by the Allahabad High Court on April 21.

The High Court’s April 21 order has now been appealed to the Supreme Court.

Five ladies had petitioned the court to allow daily worship at the Shringar Gauri temple, which was supposedly located within the grounds of the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque.

On their petition, the civil court issued an order for a survey and videography of the premises.

Another appeal, filed in 1991 by Vijay Shankar Rastogi, claimed that the entire site belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath and that the Gyanvapi Mosque was simply a part of the Temple.

Rastogi said that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple was erected over two thousand years ago and that Mughal ruler Aurangzeb demolished the temple.