Gyanvapi mosque case: SC extends protection of area where ‘Shivling’ found
With the interim order of protection expiring on November 12, advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain had requested CJI on Thursday to assign an urgent date for the hearing of his application to continue with the earlier order.
The Supreme Court on Friday extended the protection of the area inside Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi where a "Shivling" was stated to have been found during the survey. The protection is extended till further orders of the court.
Watch: No access to 'Wuzukhana' for Muslim side as SC rules 'Shivling' to remain protected
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and justices Surya Kant and PS Narasimha allowed the Hindu parties to move an application before the Varanasi district judge for consolidation of all the lawsuit filed on the Gyanvapi row. It also directed the Hindu parties to file their replies within three weeks on the appeal filed by the management committee of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid challenging the Allahabad high court order on the appointment of a survey commissioner.
With the interim order of protection expiring on November 12, advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain had requested the CJI on Thursday to assign an urgent date for the hearing of his application to continue with the earlier order.
Jain, representing some of the Hindu women who filed a suit before the Varanasi civil court seeking permission to worship at the Gyanvapi mosque, pointed out that on May 17 the apex court protected the area where the Shivling was said to have been found after the Varanasi civil court allowed a videographic survey of the mosque complex adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
He said the May 17 order of securing the area was to remain operational for a period of eight weeks after the disposal of an application moved by the Gyanvapi mosque management committee before the civil court.
This application by the mosque management committee sought dismissal of the Hindu women’s suit on grounds of maintainability and for being violative of the Places of Worship Act, 1991. However, the civil court rejected the mosque management committee’s plea on September 12 and decided to proceed with the suit. The eight-week period fixed by the apex court got triggered after that.
On Thursday, Jain submitted before the CJI that the area needed to remain protected, and that would require another order of the court extending the previous directive.
Justice Chandrachud, after noting that the Gyanvapi case is before a special bench comprising him and justices Surya Kant and PS Narasimha, agreed to set up the bench on Friday at 3pm.