The Supreme Court of India today recorded the statement based on the instructions of the District Magistrate of Varanasi that adequate facility will be provided within the Gyanvapi Mosque premises so that no inconvenience is caused to the devotees in performing 'Wuzu'.

The Bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha noted the submissions made by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that to facilitate the performance of 'Wuzu', the District Magistrate of Varanasi will ensure that a sufficient number of tubs/drums with water.

On the last date of the hearing, the application seeking arrangements for the performance of 'Wuzu' and usage of toilet facilities in the Gyanvapi Mosque, was adjourned to today, on the assurance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta that an administrative meeting will be convened to find an amicable solution.

Appearing for the State of Uttar Pradesh, the Solicitor General told the Court that the authorities have provided the facility of toilets 60-70 Meters away from the premises, but that the Applicants want the facility of the toilet within the premises. "It is not possible, I had a word with the District Magistrate. The entry to the bathroom is through that area which they claim to be the fountain and the other side to be the Shivling. The facility we have provided is just 70 meters away" submitted the SG.

Appearing for the Applicant, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi submitted to the Court that tomorrow is EID and this particular area was being used since many years. He asked, "Why should I be forced to go out of my premises", to which the SG clarified that it is only the arrangement for the toilets that is made 70 meters away and not for 'Wuzu'. He further stated that at the place where the 'Wuzu is permitted, the administration will provide 6 drums with water.

The SG also told the Court that the administration's offer to draw a pipeline to bring water to the premises for the performance of Wuzu was not accepted by the mosque administration.

The Court was further told that the District Magistrate is present in the Court and the SG is making the statement based on instructions of the District Magistrate.

The Supreme Court had agreed to hear on April 14, a plea by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee seeking permission for 'Wazu' (ritual ablution) at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during the month of Ramzan. By the order of the Apex Court passed on May 20, 2022, the District Magistrate was directed to ensure that appropriate arrangements be made for the religious observance.

The Court was told that the present application seeks arrangements for the performance of 'wuzu' and opening of the toilets as it is the month of Ramzaan. They had further contended that the 'Wuzu' was being done in the fountain area but pursuant to the order of the Apex Court, everything was sealed, including the washrooms and that it may be left to the authorities to find a solution. They had suggested that even providing mobile toilets will work for them.

Cause Title: Committee Of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi V. Rakhi Singh & Ors. [SLP(C) No. 9388/2022]