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Gyanvapi mosque plea: Supreme Court says 'shivling' area to be protected

The Varanasi Court on Tuesday granted the survey team that performed the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex a two-day extension. Ajay Kumar Mishra, the attorney commissioner, was just sacked.

Gyanvapi Mosque Supreme Court hearing updates PIL Masjid Survey Shivling gcw
New Delhi, First Published May 17, 2022, 5:06 PM IST

A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha heard the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi and ordered that DM Varanasi shall ensure that the area where the Shivling is reported to be found, shall be duly protected. 

"We will issue notice to plaintiffs. Till the next date of listing, we will issue a direction that DM will ensure that the Shivling area will be protected but it will not impede access of Muslims to the mosque for prayers. It is an ex-parte order," the Supreme Court said.

The apex court further said the trial court ordered the DM Varanasi to shut the premises where the Shivling was discovered, and admission into the Wazu khana was restricted and said that it would not be utilised, with just 20 persons permitted to worship. The next hearing on the case is scheduled on Thursday.

Also Read | Gyanvapi Mosque case: Survey report not complete, officials request more time

Earlier, Senior counsel Ahmadi representing the Masajid Committee said the premises of the Gyanvapi Masjid cannot remain shut and the directives of the Varanasi Court are invalid. He stated that he wanted a stay on all trial court orders, including the appointment of a commissioner, and that the status quo be imposed since these orders are unlawful and violate a Parliamentary legislation.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Varanasi Court granted the survey team that performed the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex a two-day extension. Ajay Kumar Mishra, the attorney commissioner, was just sacked.

The petition of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which handles the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, will be heard by a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha.

Also read: Gyanvapi mosque: Hindus claim 'shivling' found, Muslims say it's a fountain

The written judgement, issued on Friday by a panel led by Chief Justice N V Ramana, directed that the case be heard by a bench led by Justice Chandrachud.

On Friday, the bench, however, refused to issue an interim order of status quo against the continuing study of the holy complex on the Muslim side's request. The Muslim side has referred to Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the filing of any action or the initiation of any other legal procedure for the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

Also read: 'Baba mil gaye', claims Hindu side as Gyanvapi mosque survey ends

A local court in Varanasi issued an order on May 12 in response to a petition by a group of women asking permission to worship Hindu deities whose statues are situated on the mosque's outside wall. The mosque management committee had objected to recording inside the mosque and accused the court-appointed commissioner of bias. The survey was temporarily halted due to objections.

It said that the survey may be conducted everyday between 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex until it was completed.

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