National Affairs

Secure ‘Shivling’ Area, Allow Namaz: Supreme Court In Gyanvapi Case

In the Gyanvapi case, the Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Hindu side on the petition of the Masjid Committee. 

A reply has been sought in the matter by May 19. The next hearing in the matter will be held on May 19 itself. 

The Supreme Court said that the district magistrate should secure the area where the Shivling is said to be found. 

Along with this, it should not prevent the entry of Muslims for prayer or religious activity. The Supreme Court limited the order to seal the Varanasi court to secure the Shivling area. 

There is no stay on the proceedings of the Varanasi court. The court said that we think that this is a balance order. 

Earlier, in the hearing held in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Huzefa Ahmadi cross-examined on behalf of the Masjid Committee. Huzefa said, ‘This suit has been made to declare that Hindus are entitled to have darshan and worship. 

This would mean changing the religious character of the mosque. You can’t choose Advocate Commissioner like this. The Advocate Commissioner could not have been appointed at the option suggested by the plaintiff. 

He said that on our request, the CJI demanded an early hearing. Ahmadi said, ‘The commission conducted the survey on Saturday and Sunday. The commissioner knew that the Supreme Court would hear the matter, yet the survey was conducted. 

On Monday, the plaintiff filed an application in the lower court that a Shivling has been found in the survey. It is unfortunate that the trial court has issued orders to seal it. 

They said, ‘ Notwithstanding the fact that no report was filed by the commissioner. Petition by the plaintiff that the commissioner has seen a Shivling near the pond. This is highly unfair as the commission’s report is treated as confidential till its filing. An attempt was made to seal the place under the guise of the commission’s survey. Places of Worship Act cannot be violated. A similar suit has been stayed by the High Court. We had informed the trial court judge”

Ahmadi demanded that the trial court’s order be stayed, it is illegal. In the Babri Masjid case, the Supreme Court had said that the Places of Worship Act prohibits complaints to rectify historical wrongs. Places of Worship Act cannot be violated. 

A similar suit has been stayed by the High Court. We had informed the trial court judge. Ahmadi demanded that the trial court’s order be stayed, it is illegal. 

 

Ahmadi said, “This court clearly said that on August 15, 1947, the religious character of a place cannot be tampered with. Such orders carry serious potential for mischief”

 He said that all these orders should also be banned. These orders are against the law of Parliament. An earlier suit was stayed. All these orders are illegal and they should be stayed.

On this, Justice Chandrachud said, ‘We can ask the trial court to dispose of the pending application for the appointment of the commission. The only point, we are discussing only, based on your challenge that the relief grant has been withheld by the Placeoff Worship Act. This is the relief that you have sought in the application. We can direct the lower court to settle.

Justice Chandrachud said that we will issue an order that the district magistrate should protect the place where the Shivling was found. But it should not come in the way of people offering Namaz. 

He asked Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta – where was Shivling found. To this the SG said, ‘In the Vazukhana, as I understand it, it is the place where you wash your hands and face and there is a separate place to offer Namaz. The magistrate’s concern seems to be that if something important is found, then people coming here may cause trouble.’

 The SG sought time from the Supreme Court till Wednesday, which was opposed by the Masjid Committee and said that the orders were issued in a wrong way. 

Ahmadi said that on Monday, the Varanasi Court passed the order within an hour of filing the application and that too ex-parte. Isn’t there a lack of impartiality in the proceedings in the lower court? 

The Supreme Court said that we will hear the matter on May 19. We will put a stay on some part of the order of the lower court, but if any Shivling is found, then it should be protected. Also, Muslims also have the right to offer Namaz”. SG Tushar Mehta said that you should hear the matter tomorrow. 

He said that there is a well, whose water is used in Vazukhana. If this is allowed then it can have unintended consequences. 

SG Tushar Mehta said, ‘Where the mentioned Shivling has been found, if the worshipers touch it with their feet during Wuzu, then there will be a law and order situation. Therefore, there should be a strong sealing and protection of that entire area around that mentioned Shivling”. 

On this, the court said that the other parties are not present here, so we are issuing appropriate orders. 

Ahmadi said that the trial court should not give any further hearing or order till Thursday. On this the court said that the order is clear. Any judicial officer will understand what to do? 

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