In Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Mosque Case, Court’s Big Order Today

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Gyanvapi Mosque Case: The court will also set a date for the hearing of the case.

New Delhi:
The court of Varanasi’s senior-most judge, hearing the Gyanvapi mosque case on orders by the Supreme Court, will today decide on whether to hear the mosque committee’s contention first that filming inside the mosque carried out last week is illegal.

Here’s your 10-point guide to this big story:

  1. The court will also set a date for the hearing of the case.

  2. The mosque committee says that filming at the mosque violates a 1991 law that prevents the alteration of the character of any place of worship in the country. The committee wants the “maintainability” case to be heard first, and the court will decide if it’ll accept that request.

  3. In orders passed on Friday, the Supreme Court had asked the Varanasi court to decide on priority whether the survey at the Gyanvapi mosque and the petition that led to the survey was ‘maintainable’ or not.

  4. The 30-minute long hearing took place at the Varanasi District Judge’s court between 2 pm and 3 pm yesterday.

  5. “I told the court it is a mandate of the Supreme Court that our application saying the case is not maintainable should be heard first. I read out my application and also the Supreme Court order. The opposing counsel said he needed more documents and time to file objections to our application but I said the maintainability must be decided first “, Abhay Nath Yadav, a lawyer for the Mosque committee told NDTV.

  6. The Supreme Court, hearing a petition challenging the filming of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque, had said last week that the case will be heard by an experienced judge in Uttar Pradesh. 

  7. “This is a complex and sensitive matter. We think that the suit should be heard by a district judge instead of a trial judge. Because better if a more seasoned hand hears it,” the court had said.

  8. The court had also said that “selective leaks” to the press must stop, as Hindu petitioners had released details of the mosque filming report just hours after it was handed over to a Varanasi court in a sealed cover on Thursday.

  9. Early last week, lawyers representing Hindu petitioners claimed that a ‘Shivling’ was found during the videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri complex. 

  10. The claim was disputed by the mosque committee members who said it was part of the water fountain mechanism in the wazookhana reservoir, used by devotees to perform ritual ablutions before offering namaz. The district court had then ordered the sealing of the ‘wazookhana’.

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