As the Gyanvapi Masjid controversy keeps on spiraling with new claims about the complex, it is likely that the Varanasi court will be hearing the matter today, May 23, after the Supreme Court ordered that the case be heard by a district judge.
A few days back, the Supreme Court transferred the petition to the lower court for the resolution of the Gyanvapi mosque case. The petition was filed by a group of Hindu women who were seeking the right to pray inside the mosque complex, claiming there used to be a temple there.
The Gyanvapi Masjid case was deferred by the Supreme Court to the lower court, saying that looking at the complex nature of the matter it is better for a senior judicial officer to handle the case. It is likely that a bench in Varanasi court will conduct the hearing today.
During the hearing of the apex court, the SC bench had also said that the process to ascertain the religious character of a place of worship is not barred under the Places of Worship Act of 1991.
The Supreme Court bench had said, “Having regard to the complexities of the issue involved in the case, in the civil suit and their sensitivity, we are of the considered view that the suit before the civil judge (senior division) Varanasi should be tried before a senior and experienced judicial officer of the Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service.”
Earlier, the Varanasi court had decided to seal off an area of the Gyanvapi Masjid after the Hindu petitioner claimed that a shivling was found in the complex. A team was also deployed in the area for the protection of the shivling, and the number of namazis was limited.
Further, the Gyanvapi Masjid survey report revealed that there were carvings of trishool, lotuses, and other Hindu symbols on the walls of the mosque, intensifying the claims of there being a temple before the construction of the complex.
READ | No Shivling in Gyanvapi; mosque still exists in Ayodhya: Samajwadi Party MP