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Supreme Court is set to hear plea challenging the video survey of the Gyanvapi mosque today

By Ruchi Upadhyay 
Updated Date

NEW DELHI: In this development story Gyanvyapi has created serious controversy, today on Thursday the SC will hear a petition challenging the videography survey of the mosque. This comes two days after the site’s survey is completed.

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The court-mandated committee will also submit its Gyanvapi survey report to the civil court today. A Supreme Court bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha will hear the matter today.

The bench had on Tuesday heard the matter over the Gyanvapi mosque row and directed the District Magistrate of Varanasi to ensure the protection of the area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where ‘Shivling’ is said to be found in the survey there.

The bench while hearing the plea of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the affairs of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, ordered that Muslims can continue offering ‘namaz’ there without any impediment.

However, the Supreme Court refused to stay the further proceedings before the civil judge, Varanasi who is hearing the lawsuit related to the Gyanvapi mosque. It issued notices to the petitioner Hindu devotees and posted the plea of the mosque committee for hearing on May 19.

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The Varanasi civil court could not hear the Gyanvapi mosque case on Wednesday as lawyers in the district were on a strike in protest against the remarks of a government official.

The Banaras Bar Association and the Central Bar Association, Varanasi had decided to boycott work as they were upset over the remarks of a Special Secretary against lawyers, according to advocate Abhay Yadav, representing the Muslim side in the case. The court was scheduled to hear two petitions related to the case Wednesday.

One of them was filed by the Hindu side to remove a wall and debris around a ‘Shivling’ which was claimed to have been found during a court-mandated videography survey, and the other was moved by District Government Advocate Mahendra Pandey on shifting fish from a pond located on the premises.

Yadav said the Muslim side also wanted to move an application before District Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking two days from the court to file their objection to the petition of the Hindu side. This application also could not be submitted to the court. The petitions will now be heard when the court opens, he said.

Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the Hindu side, said they had urged the Bar Association to allow the lawyers to participate in the hearing in the case on Wednesday since the eyes of the whole country are on the Gyanvapi Masjid case, but it did not yield any result.

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The mosque is adjacent to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local civil court is hearing a plea by a group of five Hindu women — Rekha Pathak, Manju Vyas, Sita Sahu, Laxmi Devi and Rakhi Singh — seeking the court’s permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.

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 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. 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.

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