Gyanvapi Mosque Row: Protect shivling area but don't stop namaz, says SC
New Delhi, May 17: The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed the District Magistrate of Varanasi to ensure protection of area inside the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex where 'Shivling' is said to be found in the survey there.
The apex court has ordered that the spot where the Shivling is found 'shall be protected', however, Muslims be allowed to continue their prayers.
A bench comprising Justices D Y Chandrachud and P S Narasimha, while hearing the plea of the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the affairs of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, ordered that Muslims can continue offering 'namaz' there without any impediment.
The top court, however, refused to stay the further proceedings before the civil judge, Varanasi who is hearing the lawsuit related to the Gyanvapi mosque.
It issued notices to the petitioner Hindu devotees and posted the plea of the mosque committee for hearing on May 19.
The apex court heard the matter amidst an important development with a Varanasi court on Monday directed the district administration there to seal the spot of the survey inside the complex where allegedly 'Shivling' has been found by the surveying team.
On Friday last, the bench, however, had refused to pass any interim order of status quo against the ongoing survey of the religious complex on the plea of the Muslim side.
The Muslim side has been referring to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and its Section 4 which bars filing of any suit or initiating any other legal proceeding for a conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, as existing on August 15, 1947.