The Varanasi District Court today fixed May 26 for the hearing on the maintainability of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex Suit. The Supreme Court had directed that the application under Order 7, Rule 11 should be decided on priority.

The Court of District Judge A K Vishevesh will hear the matter as per directions of the Supreme Court. The Court also gave a week's time to both Hindu and Muslim sides to file objections to the report of a court-mandated videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

Section 4 of the Act bars filing of any suit or initiating any other legal proceeding for a conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, as existing on August 15, 1947.

Meanwhile, a fresh application was filed in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking permission to worship the "Shivling" claimed to have been found in the Gyanvapi complex during the videography survey. A court order confirmed that the matter has been listed for Wednesday.

A similar petition was moved by Dr Kulpati Tiwari, Mahant of the Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath temple, on Monday for regular "pujan" (worship) of the Shivling.

The Apex Court had on Friday transferred the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex case from a civil judge (senior division) to a district judge, saying looking at the "complexities" and "sensitivity" of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer having an experience of over 25-30 years handles this case.

The District Judge had on the previous day reserved its order on which prayer should be heard first. The Hindu side argued that since a court-appointed commission has completed its survey work, the opponents should present their objections to it.

Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee's lawyer Mohammad Tauhid Khan had argued that the writ is not maintainable under Order 7 and Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, hence, it should be dismissed.

On May 16, the Court had directed the district administration to seal a spot in the Gyanvapi Masjid complex after counsels representing the Hindu petitioners said a Shivling was found during a court-mandated videography survey. A mosque management committee spokesperson disputed the claim, telling a television channel that the object was part of a "fountain".

He said lawyers representing the mosque committee were not fully heard before the sealing order was announced. The Hindu side claimed that the Shivling was found close to the "wazookhana"--a small reservoir used by Muslim devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering the namaz.

With PTI inputs