Varanasi: The court of Varanasi’s senior-most judge, hearing the Gyanvapi mosque case on orders by the Supreme Court, today said that it will first hear the mosque committee’s contention that filming inside the mosque carried out last week is illegal. The process of hearing in the case will start on Thursday with the “maintainability” issue.
The mosque committee says that filming at the mosque violates a 1991 law that prevents the alteration of the character of any place of worship in the country. It wanted the “maintainability” case to be heard first, which the court has agreed to.
In orders passed on Friday, the Supreme Court had asked the Varanasi court to decide on priority whether the survey at the Gyanvapi mosque and the petition that led to it was ‘maintainable‘ or not.
“I told the court it is a mandate of the Supreme Court that our application saying the case is not maintainable should be heard first. I read out my application and also the Supreme Court order. “The opposing counsel said he needed more documents and time to file objections to our application, but I said the maintainability must be decided first,” Abhay Nath Yadav, a lawyer for the mosque committee, said on Monday.
Early last week, lawyers representing Hindu petitioners claimed that a ‘Shivling’ was found during the videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
The claim was disputed by the mosque committee members, who said it was part of the water fountain mechanism in the wazookhana reservoir, used by devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering namaz. The district court had then ordered the sealing of the ‘wazookhana’.