New Delhi, May 13
The controversy surrounding the survey of Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex in Varanasi on Friday reached the Supreme Court which refused to pass any orders to stop it.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi mentioned before a Bench led by CJI NV Ramana a petition against a Varanasi court’s order allowing an advocate commissioner to survey the Gyanvapi mosque. “Please grant the status quo,” Ahmadi told the Bench.
“I have no idea about this case. Let me look at the papers…we will list it,” the CJI told Ahmadi, refusing to stop the survey immediately.
“Please list this Milord. The survey is taking place today,” Ahmadi said to the Bench.
“How can I list it like this?” the Bench said.
As Ahmadi pointed out that the mosque was covered under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, the CJI said, “We will list it.”
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.
A Varanasi court had on Thursday rejected the demand for the removal of advocate commissioner for conducting a video survey of the complex and ordered that it should be done between 8 am and 12 pm daily till its completion.
Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar had asked the commissioner to submit the survey report by May 17. He had also appointed two more advocate commissioners, Ajay Singh and Vishal Singh, in addition to Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was accused of being biased by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee.
Acting on a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities located on an outer wall of the mosque, Civil Judge Diwakar had ordered a survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex.
Muslim petitioners had sought the removal of Mishra on the grounds that he was doing the video survey of areas not specified in the order.