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Supreme Court to hear Gyanvapi Masjid matter tomorrow

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The Supreme Court on Monday decided to hear the petition filed by Anjuman Masjid Committee against the Varanasi Court’s order, directing survey of Gyanvapi mosque tomorrow.

Chief Justice of India N.V. Ramana had decided in a written order on May 13 that a Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud would hear the matter, but no date had been fixed till that time.

According to the cause list of the Supreme Court, it has been fixed to hear the matter at number 40 on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the three-day videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi, ordered by the Allahabad High Court, ended on Monday, amid tight security.

As per the lawyer representing Hindu women, a Shivaling was found in the pond inside the Mosque complex.

Advocate Subhash Nandan Chaturvedi said the water from the pond, inside which the Shivling was found, was used for ablution (wuzu) or purification rituals.

The Varanasi District Magistrate had refused to divulge any details regarding the Gyanvapi Mosque survey.

As per the Court, it was “the custodian of information about the survey”.

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The last day of videography began this morning amid tight security around the complex.

The Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid management committee of the Gyanvapi mosque has petitioned the Supreme Court to stop the survey.

The petition contended that the Allahabad High Court had already stayed the original suit filed in 1991, but another petition was filed in 2021, just to bypass it.

Both the 1991 and 2021 petitions were against the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which a five-bench of the Supreme Court had also endorsed during the Ayodhya judgement, noted the petition.

Till Sunday, around 65 per cent of the survey was completed.

The mosque is located close to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.

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The plea, filed by five Hindu women, have sought year-long access to pray at the shrine behind the Mosque. The site is currently open for prayers once a year. The women also want permission to pray to other

“visible and invisible deities within the old temple complex”.

A part of the survey took place on May 6 but was halted after a dispute broke out over filming inside the mosque.

The mosque committee said the court had not ordered videography inside the mosque. The petitioners’ lawyer, however, insisted that the court had given a go-ahead.

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Hearing the matter last week, the local court had ordered videography can happen at all places asked for by the petitioners.

One of the lawyers representing the Gyanvapi Mosque trust, which had approached the Apex Court against the survey order, said that it was at odds with the Places of Worship Act, 1991. He claimed that nothing unusual was found during the survey.

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