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Supreme Court asks Gyanvapi Mosque Committee to move Allahabad High Court while refusing to hear plea against order permitting Puja

The Gyanvpai mosque committee asked for an urgent hearing for their application challenging the Varanasi District Court’s order on Wednesday.

The application challenged the order which allowed Hindus to perform prayers in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque.

The Committee of Management, Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, Varanasi filed an urgent application seeking status quo at the mosque site soon after the District Court passed the order on January 31.

The mosque committee Counsel Supreme Court registrar on Wednesday night for seeking an urgent hearing at night itself, raising concern over the pooja that could be performed inside the mosque during the night.

The Registrar however informed that he has to take instructions from the Chief Justice of India.

The Supreme Court Registrar informed the mosque committee’s Advocate-on-Record Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi after the due consulation with the CJI that they will have to approach the Allahabad High Court.

The mosque committee in its application stated that the administration was acting in ‘hot haste after the Varanasi Court’s order to allow the pooja at night itself.

The application to the Supreme Court’s registry explained the urgency of the situation.

Advocate-on-Record Fuzail Ahmad Ayyubi who represented the committtee said that there is no reason for the administration to undertake this task in hot haste in the dead of the night as the order passed by the Trial Court had already given them one week to make the necessary arrangements.

The letter mentions that it seems that the reason for such unseemly haste is that the administration in collusion with the plaintiffs is trying to foreclose any attempt by the Mosque Managing Committee to avail of their remedies against the said order by presenting them with a fait accompli.

The application was moved as an interlocutory application in a pending Special Leave Petition filed by the Committee challenging a 2022 order passed by a Varanasi court allowing the appointment of a Court Commissioner to inspect the mosque.

The committee argued that the latest order by Varanasi Court was in violation of a May 2022 interim order passed by the Supreme Court clarifying that the rights of the Muslims to access the mosque or to use the Mosque to perform Namaz and religious observances were not impeded.

The Supreme Court allowed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct the survey of the mosque premises, excluding the ‘wuzukhana’ area where a ‘shivling’ was claimed to have been found. The ASI’s survey aimed to determine if the mosque was built over a pre-existing Hindu temple structure. Permission for this survey was first granted by the district judge in July, and later upheld by the Allahabad High Court in August.

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