New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday extended its earlier order to protect the area where the ‘Shivling’ was stated to be discovered during the court survey at Gyanvapi complex, Varanasi. A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices Surya Kant and PS Narasimha said its interim order of May 17 would remain in operation until further orders. The bench, in its order, stated, “We direct that pending different orders, the interim order dated May 17 shall continue to remain in operation till further order.
“On May 17, the Supreme Court, by an interim order directed to protect the area where the ‘Shivling’ was found and granted access to Muslims for namaz, shall continue in operation till maintainability of the suit had decided by the Varanasi court. After that, for eight weeks to enable parties to pursue legal remedies. As the interim order expires on November 12, the Hindu side has applied for an extension. Varanasi district court on September 12 had held that the suit was not barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and rejected the application filed by the Muslim side under Order 7 Rule 11 (rejection of plants). It had dismissed the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee that manages Gyanvapi questioning the maintainability of the suit filed by Hindu women.
The top court has seized an appeal filed by the Committee challenging an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court-appointed commissioner to inspect and conduct a survey and videography of the Gyanvapi structure to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for the right to worship. On May 20, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the case related to worship at the Gyanvapi structure from the civil judge to the District Judge, Varanasi. On the same day, it had also extended its May 17 order of protection of ‘Shivling’. It had said that District Judge should decide the maintainability of the civil suit in the Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath on priority as sought by the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Varanasi. (ANI)