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SC to hear plea of Gyanvapi mosque committee against survey today

SC to hear plea of Gyanvapi mosque committee against survey today

New Delhi: The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Tuesday the plea of the management of Gyanvapi mosque against the survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex in Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh.

The Apex Court will hear the matter amidst an important development with a Varanasi court on Monday directing the district administration there to seal the spot of the survey inside the complex where allegedly 'shivling' has been found by the surveying team.

As per the updated list of business of the top court for Tuesday, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha would be hearing the plea of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the affairs of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.

The written order, passed on Friday by a bench headed by Chief Justice of India N V Ramana, had ordered the listing of the plea before a bench headed by Justice Chandrachud.

On Friday last, the bench, however, had refused to pass any interim order of status quo against the ongoing survey of the religious complex on the plea of the Muslim side. But, the CJI-led bench had agreed to consider listing the plea for hearing.

"Upon being mentioned by Huzefa Ahmadi, senior counsel appearing on behalf of the petitioner, we deem it appropriate to direct the Registry to list the matter before the bench presided over by Dr Justice D Y Chandrachud," the bench, also comprising Justices J K Maheshwari and Hima Kohli had said in its order.

Ahmadi, appearing for the mosque committee, had told the bench that a plea had been filed against the survey being conducted at the site and had sought an urgent interim order in the case.

"We have filed in relation to a survey which has been directed to be conducted in relation to the Varanasi property. This (Gyanvapi) has been a mosque since time immemorial and this is clearly interdicted by the Places of Worship Act," the senior advocate had said.

The Muslim side has been referring to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and its Section 4 which 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 local court on May 12 had rejected a plea to replace the advocate commissioner it had appointed for conducting a videography survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex and ordered the completion of the task by May 17.

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