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Gyanvapi case: Court to pronounce order in Shringar Gauri temple survey matter today

Mosque authorities had accused the Advocate Commissioner conducting the survey of bias and demanded his replacement

Sabrangindia 12 May 2022

Gyanvapi

A Varanasi court is all set to pronounce its order in a matter related to a videographic survey of the Maa Shringar Gauri temple located on the premises of the Gyanvapi mosque that stands adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Last Friday, when authorities started conducting a video survey in accordance with a court order, mosque authorities intervened and demanded that the Advocate Commissioner appointed to conduct the survey be replaced. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) which is the mosque management authority, then moved court with this demand. Hearings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday where both parties made submissions, and the court reserved its order that will be delivered today at noon.

AIM’s legal counsel told the Indian Express, “We had moved an application to change the Advocate Commissioner. The plaintiffs have filed an application saying that the Commission should be allowed to enter the court for the videographic survey. We argued that firstly, the honourable court has not passed any order for videography inside the mosque.” He further explained their contention saying, “Then, we cited an order passed April 26 this year, when the District Government Counsel (Civil) had filed an application asking for the number of people in the Commission. In that same application, the state had also mentioned that the mosque is a Waqf property and that videography can’t be done there. Despite this, the court didn’t pass any order ordering a survey inside the mosque which means the court declined videography inside the mosque.”

Meanwhile, Madan Mohan Yadav, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners, countered this saying, “We have prayed before the court that the Commission must be allowed to conduct the survey inside the structure.”

Readers would recall that in August 2021, five women, one of whom has since withdrawn her name from the case, moved the Civil Court (Senior Division), demanding that the Maa Shringar Gauri Temple be reopened, and people be allowed to offer prayers before the idols that are still kept there. The petitioners cited the right to practice one’s faith and religious freedom guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution.

On April 8, Civil Judge (Senior Division), Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar had appointed Advocate Commissioner Ajai Kumar to carry out the survey and asked him to submit a report at the next hearing on May 10. The AIM opposed this, but their petition against the survey was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on April 21. The lower court in Varanasi, on April 26, then again passed an order to carry out the survey, though now it appears that there was some ambiguity about where the survey could be conducted, specifically if it could be conducted inside the temple that is located on mosque land that is a Wakf property.

It is noteworthy that this is distinct from the survey by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), as that was stayed by the Allahabad High Court. The authorities began conducting the video survey on May 5.

Related:

Gyanvapi case: One out of five withdrawing name from Maa Shringar Gauri temple petition?

Gyanvapi case: Videographic survey of Maa Shringar Gauri temple begins

Gyanvapi case: Allahabad HC stays ASI survey, proceedings before lower court

Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court to hear petition to hold prayers in Shringar Gauri temple

Gyanvapi case: Court to pronounce order in Shringar Gauri temple survey matter today

Mosque authorities had accused the Advocate Commissioner conducting the survey of bias and demanded his replacement

Gyanvapi

A Varanasi court is all set to pronounce its order in a matter related to a videographic survey of the Maa Shringar Gauri temple located on the premises of the Gyanvapi mosque that stands adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Last Friday, when authorities started conducting a video survey in accordance with a court order, mosque authorities intervened and demanded that the Advocate Commissioner appointed to conduct the survey be replaced. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) which is the mosque management authority, then moved court with this demand. Hearings were held on Tuesday and Wednesday where both parties made submissions, and the court reserved its order that will be delivered today at noon.

AIM’s legal counsel told the Indian Express, “We had moved an application to change the Advocate Commissioner. The plaintiffs have filed an application saying that the Commission should be allowed to enter the court for the videographic survey. We argued that firstly, the honourable court has not passed any order for videography inside the mosque.” He further explained their contention saying, “Then, we cited an order passed April 26 this year, when the District Government Counsel (Civil) had filed an application asking for the number of people in the Commission. In that same application, the state had also mentioned that the mosque is a Waqf property and that videography can’t be done there. Despite this, the court didn’t pass any order ordering a survey inside the mosque which means the court declined videography inside the mosque.”

Meanwhile, Madan Mohan Yadav, one of the lawyers representing the petitioners, countered this saying, “We have prayed before the court that the Commission must be allowed to conduct the survey inside the structure.”

Readers would recall that in August 2021, five women, one of whom has since withdrawn her name from the case, moved the Civil Court (Senior Division), demanding that the Maa Shringar Gauri Temple be reopened, and people be allowed to offer prayers before the idols that are still kept there. The petitioners cited the right to practice one’s faith and religious freedom guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution.

On April 8, Civil Judge (Senior Division), Varanasi, Ravi Kumar Diwakar had appointed Advocate Commissioner Ajai Kumar to carry out the survey and asked him to submit a report at the next hearing on May 10. The AIM opposed this, but their petition against the survey was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on April 21. The lower court in Varanasi, on April 26, then again passed an order to carry out the survey, though now it appears that there was some ambiguity about where the survey could be conducted, specifically if it could be conducted inside the temple that is located on mosque land that is a Wakf property.

It is noteworthy that this is distinct from the survey by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI), as that was stayed by the Allahabad High Court. The authorities began conducting the video survey on May 5.

Related:

Gyanvapi case: One out of five withdrawing name from Maa Shringar Gauri temple petition?

Gyanvapi case: Videographic survey of Maa Shringar Gauri temple begins

Gyanvapi case: Allahabad HC stays ASI survey, proceedings before lower court

Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court to hear petition to hold prayers in Shringar Gauri temple

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