Supreme Court Adjourns Gyanvapi Hearing To October, Decides To Await Trial Court's Decision On Maintainability Of Suit
The Supreme Court's Bench comprising of Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice P. S. Narasimha today adjourned the hearing in the appeal of Anjuman-e-Intezamia Masjid Committee for the first week of October. Anjuman-e-Intezamia had appealed challenging the order of the Allahabad High Court upholding the appointment of the Commissioner to conduct survey at the disputed site.
The Bench said that since the proceedings about maintainability of the Suit before the District Judge is pending, it will adjourn the proceedings till the trial court takes a decision. The Court refused to entertain the plea seeking permission to pray before the Shivling found during the survey in the month of Sawan. The Court also refused to entertain a plea seeking permission to conduct Carbon Dating and GPR Survey.
Fresh petitions had been filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to Shri Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust Board to take possession of Shri Mahadeo Shivling which was discovered on May 16 during the survey and to allow Respondent to restore the pooja and worship of the Shivling. The petitioners had also sought directions to the ASI to conduct a survey or use Ground Penetrating Radar or excavation to find out the nature of the construction beneath. It was also sought that live streaming of the temple should be done to facilitate the people to have virtual darshan.
The petition was mentioned on Monday before the bench of Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, who agreed to list this petition today along with the batch of pending petitions filed by Anjuman-e-Intezamia Masjid Committee.
On the previous hearing, the Court had extended the interim order relating to the area where the Shivling was found. The Bench had, in addition to this, directed the District Magistrate to make alternate arrangements for vuzu.
The bench had also transferred the matter from Civil Judge Senior Division to the District Judge to decide on the application of Maintainability of the suit. The bench had stated that, "Having regard to the complexity and sensitivity we are of the view that the Civil Suit before the Civil Judge Varanasi should be tried before a senior and experienced judicial officer. We order and direct that it shall be transferred to the District Judge for trial and all ancillary proceeding should be addressed to District Judge." The Court had also stated that the interim order of the Court shall be operational for a period of 8 weeks and the District Judge would hear the matter regarding Order 7 Rule 11 on priority.
Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi had argued that the suit is not maintainable in view of the Places of Worship Act and that the status quo of over 500 years has already been altered. He submitted that the status quo as on the date of filing of the suit has to be brought back.
The Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court filed by the Committee of Management of Anjuman-e-Intezamia Masjid Varanasi challenges the order passed by Allahabad High Court dismissing the challenge to the Varanasi District Court's order appointing Advocate Commissioner for conducting a video survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex.