Published on: November 1, 2022 at 21:55 IST
After receiving an urgent mention from the Hindu plaintiffs, the Supreme Court agreed Monday to postpone the Gyanvapi Masjid case till November 10.
Justice Chandrachud was among the judges on the panel when advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain urgently brought up the matter’s upcoming listing for October 20, 2022.
The advocate emphasised that the court’s order to protect the area where a Shivling is reported to have been discovered on the grounds of the Gyanvapi Masjid during the survey will expire on November 12, 2022.
“The difficulty is that the interim order is expiring on 12th November 2022“, the council said.
The bench then agreed to post the matter on November 10, 2022.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which oversees the Gyanvapi Mosque, filed a special leave petition to challenge the Varanasi Civil Court’s survey order in a suit filed by five Hindu women who sought the right to worship deities on the mosque grounds throughout the year-long.
On May 17, the Apex Court made it clear that the order made by the Varanasi Civil Judge Senior Division to protect the spot where a “shivling” was allegedly discovered during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will not hinder Muslims’ access to the mosque for namaz and other religious observances.
On May 20, the Supreme Court ordered that the case be transferred to Varanasi District Court, stating that senior and experienced judges should handle it given the nature of the issues involved.
The court ordered the District Court to consider the petitions that the Masjid Committee had submitted under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC, which questioned the suit’s capacity to be maintained based on priority.
The Court adjourned the case on July 21 to October 20 to await the District Court’s decision.
The District Court recently rejected the Masjid Committee’s challenge to the suit’s maintainability and ruled that the Places of Worship Act of 1991 did not bar it.
Last week, the Varanasi District Court dismissed an application filed by the plaintiffs for carbon-dating and scientific investigation of the “shivling”.
“If Carbon Dating or Ground Penetrating Radar is permitted and if any damage is caused to the ‘Shivalinga’ then it would be a violation of the Supreme Court order to protect it and it might also hurt the religious sentiments of the general public,” remarked the Varanasi Court.