Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court to hear maintainability plea on Thursday
The Varanasi district court will begin its hearing on the maintainability of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case on Thursday. The court of District Judge AK Vishvesha will hear the matter as per directions of the Supreme Court (SC). The district court also gave a week's time to both Hindu and Muslim sides to file objections to the advocate commissioner's Gyanvapi Mosque survey report.
- The SC last week ordered authorities to protect the area where an alleged Shivling was found at the mosque without hindering Muslims' access to namaz.
- Transferring the case to Varanasi's district court, the SC said it would handle the trial of the suit for the worship of Hindu deities inside the mosque and decide on priority on the mosque committee's plea on its maintainability.
According to the mosque committee, a Varanasi court-ordered videography survey at the mosque violates the Places of Worship Act, 1991, which prevents the alteration of the character of any place of worship in India. The Supreme Court had asked the Varanasi district court to decide on priority whether the Gyanvapi Mosque's videography and the petition that led to the survey were maintainable or not.
After an alleged Shivling was found inside the mosque complex last week, the Varanasi Court ordered to seal the spot. However, SM Yasin—joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) which manages Gyanvapi Mosque's affairs—said the object was part of the wuzukhana's fountain. The court-appointed videography team submitted its final survey report of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex to the civil court on Thursday (May 19).
Last Thursday, the Supreme Court gave the district court eight weeks' time to finish its hearing. It ruled that because civil litigation is sensitive, a district court judge should hear the case instead of the civil judge. Later, the district court ordered that only the lawyers involved in the case be present at the hearing.
The Hindu side sought permission for daily worship of the Shringar Gauri in the mosque complex, permission to worship the alleged Shivling, a survey to determine the length and width of the Shivling, and a provision for an alternate wuzukhana arrangement. Meanwhile, the Muslim side pleaded that the matter didn't meet the parameters of the Places of Worship Act and wanted the matter dismissed.