A Supreme Court bench consisting of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha is due to hear an appeal on Tuesday challenging an order by the Allahabad High Court authorizing a court-appointed commissioner to inspect, conduct an investigation and videograph the mosque compound Gyanvapi in Varanasi where Hindus and Muslims claimed the right to worship.
The plea was filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee. The Supreme Court had refused last Friday to grant an interim standstill order on the investigation. The High Court, however, agreed to consider entering a Muslim party’s plea against the investigation. Meanwhile, the chairman of the Hindu Sena filed a statement in intervention asking for the appeal to be dismissed, reported Bar and Bench.
The plea argued that the Gyanvapi Mosque is exempt from the Places of Worship Act 1991 as the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Shringar Ma Gauri Temple within the Gyanvapi Mosque complex fall under the Ancient Monuments Act 1958 and archaeological sites and remains.
On Monday, the three-day court-supervised videographic investigation of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex and the Gyanvapi Mosque concluded. Shortly after, a local court ordered the closure of a pond in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after lawyers representing the Hindu petitioners said a “Shivling” had been found there during the video investigation commissioned by the court.
However, a member of the mosque’s management committee disputed this claim, saying the object was part of the water fountain mechanism of the wazookhana tank where worshipers perform ablution before offering namaz.
Joint secretary of the Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid committee, Syed Mohammad Yasin, had claimed that the leadership of the mosque had not been heard before Civil Judge (Main Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar issued the order.
On Tuesday, the resort’s video investigation commission said it would ask a local court for more time to submit its report because it has not yet been prepared.
The court had previously asked the commission to submit the report by Tuesday.
Deputy Commissioner Advocate Ajay Pratap Singh said excl. tax that the investigation report is being prepared. Over 50% of the report has been prepared.
“However, we are not submitting the report to the court today (Tuesday) because it is not prepared. time,” the PTI news agency quoted. Singh as saying.
The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea from a group of women seeking permission to pray daily in front of the idols on its exterior walls.
In his order last Thursday, Diwakar had rejected an appeal by the mosque committee to replace Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was appointed commissioner lawyer by the court to inspect the Gyanvapi-Gauri Shringar complex.
The judge also appointed two other lawyers to help the court commissioner with the investigation and said it should be completed by Tuesday.
(With agency contributions)