SC to Set up Bench on Friday to Hear Gyanvapi Mosque Case

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NEW DELHI – The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to set up a bench on Friday to hear a plea by the Hindu side seeking extension of an order providing protection of an area of the fountain on Gyanvapi mosque premises.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing some Hindu devotees, mentioned the matter before a bench headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and sought urgent hearing. Jain contended that the May 17 order of the apex court granting protection was expiring on November 12 and it needed to be extended.

The bench asked about the plea of the mosque committee challenging the maintainability of petition of Hindu devotees. Jain replied that the trial court had rejected it and an appeal is pending in the Allahabad High Court. The top court said it will constitute a bench at 3 p.m. on Friday.

A Varanasi court on November 8, postponed till November 14 its judgment on a separate plea seeking permission to allow worship of the “Shivling” claimed to be found on the premises of the mosque.

On May 17, the Supreme Court said the area within Gyanvapi mosque where the “Shivling” is being claimed need to be protected, but there should be no restriction on Muslims entering the mosque to offer namaz.

On May 20, the Supreme Court transferred the proceedings of the suit by Hindu parties seeking worshipping rights at the Gynavapi mosque to the district judge in Varanasi. However, the apex court added that its May 17 interim order directing protection of the area, and free access to Muslims for offering namaz should remain operational for eight weeks, after district judge’s decision in the matter. -IANS

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