In the ongoing Kashi-Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque dispute, the masjid committee has urged the Varanasi Court to not allow survey videos and snaps to come out in the public domain. The masjid committee has requested the Court to not allow non-parties to obtain videos and snaps of the survey.
It may be noted that the Gyanvapi Mosque Survey report was submitted to Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar on May 19 pursuant to Court's May 17th Order.
The comprehensive report was compiled by a court-appointed commission after surveying the Mosque premises on May 14, 15, and 16. The Court has already invited objections from both parties to the Commission Report. The objections have to be filed within 7 days.
Now, the Masjid Committee has filed an application before the Varanasi Court [District Judge Dr. Ajay Krishna Vishwesha] stating that many such people have also filed an application before the court seeking to obtain a copy of the survey videos and snaps, who are not parties to the case/dispute.
The application further states that many news channels have also filed their application to get a copy of the survey videos/snaps.
The Masjid Committee has averred in their plea that in view of the sensitivity involved in the case, the Court should only allow the parties to get hold of the survey videos and snaps and not allow the same to come out in the public domain.
In related news, the Varanasi District Court on May 26 heard the Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application filed by the defendants (including the Anjuman Islamia committee) questioning the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women (plaintiffs) over the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute. The District Judge Dr. Ajay Krishna Vishwesha had fixed May 30 as the next date of hearing.
On May 24, the Court had decided to hear the Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application in consonance with the directions of the Supreme Court issued on May 20 wherein it was said that Order 7 Rule 11 CPC application filed by the Anjuman Islamia committee over the maintainability of the suit be decided on priority.
The Court of Civil Judge Senior Division had last month ordered an inspection of the premises on petitions moved by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.
The plaintiffs claim that the present Mosque premises was once a Hindu temple and it was demolished by Mughal Ruler Aurangzeb thereafter, the present mosque structure was built there.
On the other hand, the Anjuman Masjid committee has argued in its objection and order 7 rule 11 application that the suit is specifically barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.
The background of the Case
The local court [presided by Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar] had earlier appointed a survey commission to submit a report by visiting the mosque. The Court had received the survey report on May 19.
However, even before the submission of the survey report, the Court, on a submission made by the court-appointed Advocate Commissioner that it had found Shiva Linga inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey, had ordered to seal the spot.
"The District Magistrate, Varanasi is ordered to immediately seal the place where the Shiva linga is found and the entry of any person is prohibited in the sealed place," the court had ordered.
Meanwhile, a petition was filed by the Masjid Committee before the Supreme Court challenging the survey ordered by the Varanasi court. Hearing the plea on May 17, the Supreme Court had clarified that the order passed by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Varanasi to protect the spot where a "shiv ling" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will not restrict the right of Muslims to access the mosque to offer namaz and to perform religious observances.
Further, on May 20, the Supreme Court had transferred the suit filed by Hindu devotees in connection with the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath Temple dispute, to the District Court in Varanasi.