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Gyanvapi Mosque: Hindu Sena moves SC seeking dismissal of plea against survey

The application was mentioned today before a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud by advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, appearing for Hindu Sena, for hearing the application with the main matter today.

ANI | New Delhi |

President of the Hindu Sena, Vishnu Gupta on Tuesday filed an intervention application seeking directions for dismissal of the petition filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Management Committee challenging the videographic survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which was adjacent to the famous Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.

The application was mentioned today before a bench headed by Justice DY Chandrachud by advocate Barun Kumar Sinha, appearing for Hindu Sena, for hearing the application with the main matter today. The bench asked the advocate to remain present in the court during the hearing.

The present applicant has stated that the Gyanvapi Mosque complex is exempted from the Places of Worship Act, 1991.

Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Shringar Gauri Temple within the Gyanvapi Mosque Complex fall under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958, and therefore, are exempted from the Places of Worship Act, 1991, as per Section 4(3)(1), it added.

The application further stated that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb destroyed the Kashi Vishwanath temple at the disputed site and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place.

The remains of the erstwhile temple can be seen in the foundation, the columns and at the rear part of the mosque, it added.

Yesterday, the Varanasi district court directed the sealing of a spot in the complex after being told that a Shivling was found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises by the court-appointed advocate Commissioner during the survey.
Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee which manages the Gyanvapi mosque has approached the top court seeking direction to stay on the videographic survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.

On Friday senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi mentioned the matter before a bench headed by CJI Ramana asking to order status quo in the case pending before the Varanasi civil court.

The bench, however, had refused to grant status quo in the case saying that it was not aware of what the issue was, as he has not seen the papers.

An appeal was filed challenging an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court-appointed commissioner to inspect, conduct survey, and videography of the Gyanvapi mosque to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for the right to worship.

It sought direction to stay on the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.
The Varanasi civil court had directed a survey to inspect, conduct videography and collect evidence regarding the alleged existence of Hindu deities inside the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.

On May 12 the court said that the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will continue despite objections from mosque authorities.

The local court had earlier directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10, however, the survey could not take place as the mosque committee had opposed the videography inside the mosque.

The civil court had appointed a court commissioner to conduct a survey and videography of the site and the same was challenged before Allahabad High Court which dismissed the appeal on April 21. Now April 21 order of the High Court has been challenged in the apex court.

Five women had filed a petition in the court seeking permission for daily worship at the Shringar Gauri temple, which was allegedly situated inside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque premises.

The order of the civil court for undertaking survey and videography at the premises came on their petition.

Another petition was filed by one Vijay Shankar Rastogi, who had contended that the entire premises belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath and that the Gyanvapi Mosque was only a part of the Temple, had also been pending in the court since 1991.

Rastogi had claimed that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple had been built over two thousand years ago and the Temple had been demolished by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.