Gyanvapi row: Hindu Sena files plea; all eyes on Supreme Court hearing today

May 17, 2022

On Monday, the three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex concluded.

A Supreme Court bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha on Tuesday is set to hear an appeal challenging an order of the Allahabad High Court permitting a court-appointed commissioner to inspect, conduct a survey and videography of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi where Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for the right to worship.

The plea was filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee. The Supreme Court had on Friday last refused to grant an interim order of status quo on the survey. The top court, however, agreed to consider listing the plea of a Muslim party against the survey. Meanwhile, the president of Hindu Sena has filed an intervention plea seeking the dismissal of the appeal, reported Bar and Bench.

The plea has contended that the Gyanvapi Mosque is exempt from the Places of Worship Act, 1991, because Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Shringar Ma Gauri temple within the Gyanvapi Mosque complex fall under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological sites and Remains Act, 1958.

On Monday, the three-day-long court-monitored videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex concluded. Soon after that, a local court had ordered the sealing of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a ‘Shivling’ was found there during the court-mandated videography survey.

However, a mosque management committee member disputed the claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the wazookhana reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering namaz.

Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid Committee joint secretary Syed Mohammad Yasin had claimed that the mosque management was not heard before civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar issued the order.

On Tuesday, the commission tasked with the videography survey of the complex said it will seek additional time from a local court to submit its report as it is yet to be prepared.

The court had earlier asked the commission to submit the report by Tuesday.

Assistant advocate commissioner Ajay Pratap Singh told HT that the report of the survey is being prepared. More than 50 per cent report has been prepared.

“However, we are not submitting the report in the court today (Tuesday) since it is not prepared. We will seek additional time from the court, and whatever time the court gives, we will submit the report then,” news agency PTI quoted Singh as saying.

The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.

In his order on Thursday last, Diwakar had turned down a plea by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed advocate commissioner by the court to survey the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.

The judge also appointed two more advocates to help the court commissioner with the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.

source: hindustantimes