Supreme Court adjourns hearing in plea seeking stay on Gyanvapi survey till tomorrow, directs trial court to not proceed with hearing till then

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The Supreme Court on Thursday deferred the hearing in the plea challenging the survey of the Gyanvapi disputed site till tomorrow. Court further passed an order directing the Trial Court to not proceed with the hearing or pass any orders in the matter pending before it.

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Surya Kant and Justice PS Narasimha asked the Trial Court to strictly abide by the arrangement and desist from passing any order. 

When the matter came up for hearing, Vishnu Shankar Jai, Advocate, sought an adjournment today stating that the counsel who was briefed to appear today is indisposed and is not able to appear.

Huzefa Ahmedi, Sr. Adv, appearing for the petitioner, informed the court that there can be no objection to an adjournment on such grounds. He, however, told the court, "As we speak, the proceedings before the trial court are going on. An application has been moved to demolish the wall around Wazu Khana."  He further told the court that there are applications for sealing other mosques as well. 

Jain informed the court that they will not press for a hearing of the matter. The court, therefore, held, "We request the trial court to strictly desist from going forward with the hearing and passing orders."

On the last date of hearing, while upholding the order of Varanasi court to protect the area where the indicated Shivling has been found, the Top Court modified it to the extent that the local court's direction in any manner will not restrain the access of Muslims to the mosque or use of it for performing prayers and religious activities.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had refused to issue directions for maintaining the status quo on the survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex at Varanasi.

The Court had refused to pass an interim order in order put on hold, the process of inspection, conduct of videography and collection of evidence regarding the alleged existence of Hindu deities inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

Before this, a Varanasi court had allowed the court-appointed commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra to inspect, conduct videography and collect evidence regarding the alleged existence of Hindu deities inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The development is taking place in a plea moved by five women seeking performance of all rituals of Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman & other deities within the "old temple complex" allegedly existing inside the mosque site.

The local court had appointed an advocate commissioner for "inspection & videography" of the "disputed site” on August 18, 2021 and had directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10. However, the date was extented and the court-appointed commission's report is due today.

Case Title: Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi Vs. Rakhi Singh & Anr.