A court in Varanasi has delivered its verdict just now. It says that the court commissioner will not be removed. Two more advocates will remain with him. The court has appointed one more court commissioner, named Vishal Singh.The survey of Gyanvapi mosque will take place again and the court has asked to table the report on May 17.
The court had ordered an inspection in April this year on petitions by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi
The survey started last Friday but has not been fully completed because of a dispute over videography inside the mosque. The caretaker committee of the Gyanvapi mosque and its lawyers have said they are opposed to any videography inside the mosque. But the lawyers for the petitioners have claimed they had the court’s go-ahead.
The court will also decide today whether to replace the commissioner overseeing the survey and whether videography will be permitted inside the mosque.
“The role of the court-appointed commissioner is biased and there is no such order by the court to enter into the mosque,” Abhay Nath Yadav, the lawyer for the Gyanvapi Mosque management committee, said.
In an earlier case, a civil judge declared the mosque to be the property of Muslims. “No plaintiff has sought removal of the mosque,” Mr Yadav added.
When asked if any survey inside the mosque would not be in violation of the Places of Worship Act that provides for the status quo at all places of worship as per their status on August 15, 1947, Mr Chaturvedi said, “The places of worship act does not apply there.” You are saying it’s a mosque. We can say it’s a temple. Let it be decided it is a mosque, then the act will apply. “