Breaking: Supreme Court Orders Protection Of Shivling At Gyanvapi Mosque, Permits Usage Of Mosque For Namaz
The Supreme Court today directed that the Shivling found at Gyanvapi Mosque should be duly protected by the District Magistrate. Court refused to restrain the Varanasi Court from proceeding with the matter.
The Bench comprising of Justice D. Y. Chandrachud and Justice P. S. Narasimha also directed that the Muslims will not be restrained from performing Namaz at the Mosque.
"It has been submitted on behalf of the petitioner that since the trial judge has allowed application 78GA, the order is susceptible of interpretation that the entirety of the application has been allowed. In order to obviate any dispute on the meaning and content of the order of the trial judge, the operation and ambit of the order dated 16 May 2022 shall stand restricted to the extent that the district magistrate Varanasi shall ensure that the area where the Shivling is reported to have been found shall be duly protected. The above directions shall not in any manner restrict, restrain or impede the access of Muslims to the mosque or the use of the mosque for the purpose of performing Namaz and religious observances", the Court ordered.
Huzefa Ahmadi, Senior Advocate appeared for the Petitioner. He submitted that the orders impugned are passed in a suit for permitting prayer at the site. "The prayers categorically seek to change the religious character of the structure", he submitted.
The view of the High Court that the orders of the Varanasi Court are innocuous was proven wrong subsequently, he submitted referring to the order passed by Varanasi Court on Monday. He said that the Commission was aware that the Supreme Court was to hear the appeal today, while it went to the site to inspect.
The proceedings of the Commission were meant to be confidential, but the Trial Court entertained an application by the Plaintiff, before the report was filed, and passed the order based on what was found in the inspection, Ahmadi submitted.
Ahmadi read out Monday's order and submitted that "under the garb of commission proceedings based on the oral say of the plaintiff, the status quo has been altered".
"Right from the inspection which culminates in the latest orders, all orders are non-est", he submitted relying on the Places of Worship Act. "Without considering the maintainability (of the suit), all these orders have been passed", he submitted. "Suit is interdicted by your lordship's judgment", he submitted referring to the Judgment in the Ayodhya dispute case.
"Basis of your challenge today that grant of such relief is precluded by the Places of Worship Act, which is raised in your application under Order 7 Rule 11", the Bench observed. We will direct them to dispose of that application first, the Bench said.
"Order was passed without notice to us", Ahmadi submitted. "Basis of the suit is that historical wrong was committed, hence our right should be protected. That was considered in the Ayodhya case", he submitted.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for the State of UP. He said that he does not have papers in the case.
When the Court asked who was appearing for the Plaintiff, it was informed that Advocate Hari Shankar Jain appeared for the Plaintiff in Varanasi and that he is hospitalised. None appeared before the Supreme Court for the Plaintiff.
"I can check the geographical position of the site and revert" the SG submitted. "Wazukhana is a place where you wash the face and hands and legs, there will be a separate place where namaz is done. the Concern appears to be that location where something significant to the suit is found, anyone entering nearby might cause some difficulty", Tushar Mehta submitted. He added that he wants to revert with instruction tomorrow.
Tushar Mehta objected to the submission of Ahmadi that there is no fairness in the manner in which the orders were passed by the Varanasi Court.
We will keep it on Thursday. Mr. Jain will also be here through Counsel. We will pass an order regarding the protection of the Shivling. We will stay the remaining part of the order, the Bench said.
Tushar Submitted that the matter be kept for tomorrow, by then the Court will have a complete picture.
Ahmadi said that the place should not be sealed, but instead the place should be protected.
"Lordship may order protection of Shivling or what has been found in inspection", Tushar Mehta submitted.
The Court then passed its order issuing notice returnable on 19th May. "It has been submitted on behalf of the petitioner that since the trial judge has allowed application 78GA, the order is susceptible of interpretation that the entirety of the application has been allowed. In order to obviate any dispute on the meaning and content of the order of the trial judge, the operation and ambit of the order dated 16 May 2022 shall stand restricted to the extent that the district magistrate Varanasi shall ensure that the area where the Shivling is reported to have been found shall be duly protected. The above directions shall not in any manner restrict, restrain or impede the access of Muslims to the mosque or the use of the mosque for the purpose of performing Namaz and religious observances." it ordered.
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.
On Friday, Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi mentioned the matter before the Bench of the Chief Justice for urgent listing and prayed that the Court may order for status quo to be maintained at the site. However, the Chief Justice said that he could not pass any such order without looking at the papers.
Yesterday, on the last day of the survey, it was submitted before the Varanasi District Court that a Shivling has been found inside the Mosque. The District Court ordered the District Magistrate Varanasi that the place where Shivling was found be sealed immediately and that the District Magistrate, Police Commissioner and the CRPF Commandant, Varanasi were directed that the security of the sealed premises would be their personal responsibility.
Yesterday, Hindu Sena had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking intervention in the matter before the Supreme Court stating that the Places of Worship Act, 1991 does not apply to the Gyanvapi Mosque because it falls within the preview of the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.
Today, when their application for intervention was mentioned in the morning, the Bench had asked the Counsel to be in Court when the matter is taken up.