Security personnel stand guard during a videographic survey at Gyanvapi Masjid complex, in Varanasi.
The Supreme Court will hear the Gyanvapi case today at 3 p.m.
The apex court on Thursday had asked the civil court in Varanasi to not proceed with hearing the case till it takes up the matter on Friday. A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and PS Narashima was informed by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain that lead counsel Hari Shankar Jain for the Hindu devotees in the civil suit is indisposed for Thursday, as he was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday. The bench directed for the listing of the matter before it on May 20 at 3 pm and said that the Registry may seek the administrative directions of the Chief Justice of India so that the Bench may be constituted. On May 17, the top court had directed the district magistrate of Varanasi to ensure the protection of an area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where a ‘Shivling’ is said to have been found during a survey and allowed Muslims to offer ‘namaz’ and perform ‘religious observances’.
Only 500 Muslims have been allowed at mosque for Friday namaz, heavy police barricading on roads leading to Gyanvapi site. Muslims are thronging to mosque in huge numbers for Friday namaz.
Samajwadi Party MP Shafiqur Rehman Barq said the claimed discovery of a Shivling in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque complex was ‘false propaganda’ and urged opposition parties to counter it.
The Hindu parties have told the Supreme Court that Gynavapi mosque in Varanasi is not a mosque, as Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb “did not pass any order to create a waqf over the land in question or for handing over land to any Muslim or body of Muslims”.
The Supreme Court on Thursday asked the civil court in Varanasi to not proceed with hearing the Gyanvapi case till it takes up the matter on Friday.
A commission appointed by a court to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque-Shringar Gauri complex filed its report on Thursday, submitting documents, videos and photographs.
A Varanasi court hearing the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri case on Thursday posted the matter to May 23 for the next hearing. Both the parties filed their objections and counter-objections on Thursday. In view of the Supreme Court’s order to the lower court not to proceed with the matter till Friday, it fixed May 23 for the next hearing, Madan Mohan Yadav, the lawyer representing the Hindu side, said.
Main plaintiff in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case Haji Mahboob has claimed that the country will be ruined if Muslims begin a movement to save the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Idgah in Mathura. He alleged that after the Babri mosque, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is now conspiring to take away the Gyanvapi mosque and the Shahi Idgah.