Gyanvapi case: SC extends interim order; ‘Shivling’ to remain protected without obstructing right to offer namaz

The Supreme Court will has extended the interim order ‘until further orders’

SC on Gyanvapi

The Supreme Court bench led by CJI DY Chandrachud while hearing the plea filed by Masjid Committee of Gyanvapi mosque challenging survey of the mosque ordered by the Varanasi Court, extended the interim protection granted by it May.

On May 20, the court had ordered that the interim order will operate for 8 weeks after the Varanasi Court makes a decision on the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM) Committee challenging the maintainability of the Hindu worshipper’s suit. The Varanasi Court dismissed this plea on September 12 and 8 weeks from that date would expire on November 12 and hence this urgent listing was sought. The Masjid Committee had filed a plea questioning the maintainability of the suit filed by 5 Hindu women seeking right to worship deities in the mosque premises throughout the year.


On April 26, a lower court (civil judge-senior division) that was earlier hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily worship of idols of Hindu deities on the mosque’s outer walls had ordered a videographic survey of the Gyanvapi complex and the Hindu side had claimed a “Shivling” was found during the exercise.

However, the Muslim side has maintained that the object was part of the water fountain mechanism at the “wazookhana” reservoir where devotees carry out ablutions before offering ‘namaz’.

The Supreme Court had transferred the case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge on May 20, saying looking at the “complexities” and “sensitivity” of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer with an experience of over 25-30 years handles the case.

On May 24, plaintiff Kiran Singh, who is general secretary of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, had filed the suit in the Varanasi district court seeking a ban on the entry of Muslims into the Gyanvapi complex, handing over the complex to the Sanatan Sangh and permission to offer prayers at the “Shivling”.

On May 25, district court Judge A K Vishvesh had ordered the transfer of the suit to a fast track court. The Fast track court has postponed the judgement in this case and will reportedly pronounce it on November 14. After hearing arguments of both the sides, the court had on October 27 reserved its order on the suit for November 8, which was adjourned to November 14.

On September 12, Varanasi District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha dismissed the plea filed by AIM challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by Hindu petitioners who had demanded that they be allowed to offer prayers at the temple of deity Shringar Gauri located on the mosque premises. The court of district judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha held that the suit was neither barred by the Places of Worship Act, nor the Waqf Act, and was thus maintainable under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code. 

On October 14, Varanasi District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha rejected the plea to conduct carbon dating of a structure discovered in the Wazu Khana (ablution tank) of the Gyanvapi mosque citing the possibility of causing damage to the structure as the reason for rejecting the plea. After AIM’s plea challenging the maintainability of the main Shringar Gauri suit under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) was dismissed by the court, the petitioners moved an application requesting carbon dating and other scientific tests be conducted on the “shivling” to determine its age and authenticity.

Case in Allahabad High Court

Before the Allahabad High Court is a plea challenging the suit filed before the Varanasi Court for restoration of land on which Gyanvapi mosque is situated. The court adjourned the hearing to November 28 and extended interim stay on the lower court’s order for ASI survey until November 30,, reported LiveLaw.


Gyanvapi case: Court dismisses mosque committee’s plea challenging maintainability of suit

Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court rejects plea to conduct carbon dating test of “shivling”

Varanasi: Gyanvapi hearing over ‘Shivling’ worship deferred to Nov 14



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