The Supreme Court in the case observed and has agreed to list the petition seeking the consolidation of all suits filed in connection with the Gyanvapi Mosque dispute on 21.04.2023.
The bench headed by CJI DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice JB Pardiwalaa was hearing the present matter.
The plea was moved by Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the plaintiffs in the first suit, wherein the plea pertains to claims of a ‘Shiva Linga’ spotted inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during a survey made, wherein ordered by a Varanasi Court in to a suit being filed by few Hindu devotees.
However, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the plaintiffs informed the Supreme Court that the Varanasi district judge had deferred its verdict on the consolidation of all suits which being in the matter for the fourth time.
Facts of the Case:
When the court informed the Varanasi Court, wherein the court appointed Advocate Commissioner that a ‘Shiva Linga’ had been found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey, thus, the court ordered to seal the places or the area concerned.
It has also been clarified by the Supreme Court on 17.05.2022, that the order which is passed by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Varanasi in order to protect the spot where during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, wherein “Shiva Ling” was claimed to have been and the court will not restrict the right of Muslims to access the mosque to offer namaz and for performing religious observances. Therefore, the court extended the interim order until further orders made.
Therefore, the Supreme Court transferred the suit to Varanasi District Court on 20.05.2022, wherein the court observed that a senior and experienced judicial officer should deal with the matter considering the sensitivity of the issues involved. It has also been directed by the court that the application should be heard by District Court by the Masjid Committee under Order 7 Rule 11 Civil Procedure Code, 1908 while questioning the maintainability of the suit on priority.
Further, the District Court rejected the objection raised by Masjid Committee’s to the maintainability of the suit and it has been held by the court that the same was not barred by the Places of Worship Act 1991. Thus, the application was dismissed by the Varanasi District Court filed by the plaintiffs for carbon-dating and scientific investigation of the “shiv ling”. The Allahabad High Court approached through a revision plea, against this. The court observed that the Allahabad High Court granted another chance to the Archaeological Survey Of India for filing its reply on the issue as to whether a safe evaluation could be done of the age of the ‘Shiva Linga’.
Accordingly, the High Court listed the matter to be next heard on 05.04.2023.