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India

Gyanvapi Mosque Row: SC Orders Transfer Of Case To District Court

The Supreme Court's interim order issued on May 17 for protection of the 'Shivling' area and free access to Muslims to offer namaz will continue.

Devotees in large numbers visit Gyanvapi Masjid to offer Namaz (prayers), in Varanasi on Friday. (ANI Photo)

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday transferred the Gyanvapi mosque case to the District Court in Varanasi and ordered that a senior and experienced judicial officer of the Uttar Pradesh judiciary hear the case.

The apex court said keeping in mind the sensitivity of this civil suit case, the case should be transferred from civil judge, senior division, to district judge of Varanasi. It further said the Masjid Committee’s plea shall be decided on priority by the district judge on the transfer of the suit.

The Supreme Court’s interim order issued on May 17 for protection of the ‘Shivling’ area and free access to Muslims to offer namaz will continue.

Hailing the Supreme Court order, advocate Vishnu Jain, representing the Hindu side, said, “The Supreme Court says the trial of the matter will be done by district judge, Varanasi. SC says its interim order of May 17 for protection of Shivling area will continue. Arrangement of Wuzu will be done. We’re very happy with order.”

ALSO READ: Allahabad HC Adjourns Hearing Gyanvapi Mosque Case Till July 6

Meanwhile, the Allahabad High Court on Friday adjourned the hearing on the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque issue till July 6.

After hearing a lengthy petition filed by the Anjuman Intazamiya Masjid of Varanasi and other connected matters, Justice Prakash Padia adjourned the hearing of the case till July 6.

The original suit was filed in the Varanasi district court in 1991, seeking restoration of an ancient temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque currently stands.

On April 8, 2021, the Varanasi court of civil judge (senior division) had ordered a five-member committee comprising two Hindu, two Muslim members and an archaeological expert, to oversee a “comprehensive physical survey” of the centuries-old Gyanvapi mosque complex.

The petitioners challenged the order passed by the Varanasi court in the high court, saying it was illegal and without jurisdiction as the high court had reserved its judgment on the maintainability of the suit pending in the Varanasi court.

(With PTI inputs)