New Delhi: A Supreme Court bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud will hear the plea seeking a stay on the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
The order directing the registry to list the matter before Justice Chandrachud was uploaded on the Supreme Court website on Friday night, where Chief Justice of India NV Ramana directed that matter be listed before Justice Chandrachud. ‘Upon being mentioned by Huzefa Ahmadi, senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, we deem it appropriate to direct the Registry to list the matter before the Bench presided over by Dr Justice DY Chandrachud’, the order stated.
Yesterday senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi mentioned the matter before a bench headed by CJI Ramana asking to order status quo in the case pending before the Varanasi civil court. The bench, however, had refused to grant status quo in the case, saying that it was not aware of the issue, as it had not seen the papers then. Ahmadi appearing for the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee that manages the Gyanvapi Mosque sought an order of the status quo, saying ‘survey has been directed in relation to Varanasi property’. This is covered by the Places of Worship Act. Now the Court has ordered the Commissioner to conduct a survey.
On Friday, the appeal was filed by the Committee, challenging an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court-appointed commissioner to inspect, and conduct a survey and videography of the Gyanvapi mosque to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for their right to worship. It sought direction to stay the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. The Varanasi civil court had directed a survey to inspect, conduct videography and collect evidence regarding the alleged existence of Hindu deities inside the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
On May 12, the court said that the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will continue despite objections from mosque authorities. The local court had earlier directed the authorities to submit a report by Tuesday (May 10), however, the survey could not take place as the mosque committee had opposed the videography inside the mosque. The civil court had appointed a court commissioner to conduct the survey and videography of the site and the same was challenged before Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the appeal on April 21. Now April 21 order of the High Court has been challenged in the apex court.
Five women had filed a petition in the court seeking permission for daily worship at the Shringar Gauri temple, which was allegedly situated inside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque premises. The order of the civil court for undertaking survey and videography at the premises came on the petition of the aforesaid. Another petition, which was filed by one Vijay Shankar Rastogi, had contended that the entire premises belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath and that the Gyanvapi Mosque was only a part of the Temple, is also pending in the court since 1991. Rastogi had also claimed that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple had been built over two thousand years ago and the temple had been demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.