SC won't interfere with Gyanvapi mosque survey order, transfers case to Varanasi court

By | Written by Sohini Goswami, New Delhi
May 20, 2022 06:38 PM IST

Gyanvapi mosque case: Justice Chandrachud said there is a certain degree of healing touch with the interim order of the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court on Friday said it would not interfere with the survey order passed in the Gyanvapi mosque case and asked the Varanasi district judge to decide whether the suit by the Hindu side was maintainable.

File photo of the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi. (PTI)
File photo of the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi. (PTI)

The top court was hearing a petition of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which managed the mosque, against the Varanasi district court order directing videographic survey of the masjid complex, adjacent to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in the UP town. Hindu groups had claimed worshipping rights inside the mosque amid reports of a Shivling being found inside the complex.

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While stating that it was on a mission to preserve the balance of the nation, the SC said its May 17 order of protecting the site where the Shivling was reportedly found will continue, while the Varanasi district magistrate will make arrangements for ‘wuzu’ (ablution) inside the mosque. The top court will hear the case next in the second week of July.

During the hearing, Justice Chandrachud said, “Please don't forget that we are on a joint mission to preserve the balance of the nation.”

Also read | Don’t come in large numbers to Gyanvapi this Friday, masjid committee to devotees

“Another thing which weighed with us, the interim order passed by us, we are weighed with a need to have a sense of balance on ground and to have a sense of calm. There is a certain degree of healing touch with the interim order of the Supreme Court,” the SC judge said.

Regarding its suggestion on the case being heard by the district court, the SC said, "A slightly more seasoned and mature hand should hear this case. We're not making aspersion on trial judge. But more seasoned hand should deal with this case and it'll benefit all parties," the SC said.

The apex court also suggested trial of suit for worship inside the mosque be handled by the district judge. The district judge will decide the mosque committee's plea that the suit by the Hindu party was not maintainable and till then interim order – protection of the Shivling area, free access to Muslims for namaz – will continue, the SC said.

However, senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the masjid committee, told the apex court that all the orders passed by the trial court from the beginning were capable of creating great public mischief.

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