Supreme Court declines to stay survey in Gyanvapi mosque

The Supreme Court on Friday declined to pass any order on an appeal seeking an urgent stay on the video inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.

A bench headed by CJI N V Ramana directed that the matter be listed before a bench presided by Justice D Y Chandrachud.

The controversial Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi mosque issue resurfaced when a Varanasi court directed Advocate Commissioner to carry out an inspection of the disputed site — and directed him to “prepare videography of the action” and submit a report.

The order was given in a plea submitted by five women seeking permission to pray without conditions at the Maa Shringar Gauri Sthal at the masjid complex.

The Muslim management, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, opposed the video inspection and moved to court to change the Commissioner, who they accuse of being “biased”.

A Varanasi local court on Thursday rejected a plea to replace the advocate commissioner it had appointed and ordered the completion of the task by May 17. The court also directed the district magistrate and the police commissioner to monitor the exercise and lodge an FIR if anyone created hurdles in the survey.

Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, said the trial court order is “clearly interdicted by the Places of Worship Act-1991”.

“I have no idea about this case. Let me look at the papers. We will list it…,” the CJI said.