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SC to hear challenge to survey Gyanvapi mosque on Tuesday

The Muslim parties had objected to the survey. The court said the survey report should be submitted on May 17.

IANS | New Delhi |

The Supreme Court will on Tuesday hear a plea against the Allahabad High Court order which dismissed a petition challenging a Varanasi court’s order to appoint an advocate as a court commissioner to inspect the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

A bench comprising Justices D.Y. Chandrachud and P.S. Narasimha will hear the plea filed by Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi.

On May 13, the apex court had declined to immediately stop the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, and agreed to list the matter.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the petitioner, mentioned a plea before the top court filed by the Committee seeking a stay on survey of complex.

The plea challenged the validity of Allahabad High Court’s April 21 order, which dismissed the plea against the civil court’s order for the survey.

Ahmadi mentioned the plea before a bench headed by Chief Justice N.V. Ramana.

The bench said: “We don’t know anything about the matter… We have no details. How can we pass the order?”

Ahmadi said “please grant status quo”, and added that the mosque has been covered under Places of Worship Act.

The bench said: “Let me look at the papers, let me see…”

A Varanasi court on a suit filed jointly by five Hindu women, last month ordered an inspection of the premises through advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra.

The Allahabad High Court affirmed the civil court order.

The petitioners urged the court for year-long access to pray at a shrine behind the western wall of the mosque complex.

The women petitioners also want permission to pray to other “visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”.

On May 12, a Varanasi court ordered resumption of the video survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, including the basement and closed rooms.

The Muslim parties had objected to the survey. The court said the survey report should be submitted on May 17.

The Varanasi court also declined to entertain the demand of Muslim parties to remove advocate commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra, instead appointed two additional commissioners — lawyers Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh — to assist him.