Gyanvapi dispute | National

Mosque panel requests court not to release survey report in public domain 

Security personnel keep vigil during the Friday prayers, outside Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi on May 27, 2022.

Security personnel keep vigil during the Friday prayers, outside Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi on May 27, 2022. | Photo Credit: PTI

With the district court in Varanasi set to hear the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute again on Monday, an application has been filed before the court by a lawyer representing the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, seeking that the report of the mosque’s survey be kept from the public domain.

The application has been filed before the court of District and Sessions Judge, Varanasi, A.K. Vishvesha, and has sought that the report of the survey and any videos and photographs of it be shared only with the concerned parties in the dispute, given the sensitivity of the case.

Filed on Friday, the application states that several parties unrelated to the court proceedings, including some media organisations, have submitted pleas seeking a copy of the survey report and videos and photographs taken during the survey. It states that these parties have no relation whatsoever to the ongoing proceedings.

This application has been filed in one of the suits related to the dispute that is currently being heard. However, advocate Ranjana Agnihotri, who is representing the plaintiffs in the suit that is set to be taken up for hearing on Monday, said that the contents of the survey report should be made public. “Public opinion is very important,” she said.

The district court had on May 26 directed all parties in the dispute to submit their objections to the survey report. It had also said that it will first hear the masjid committee’s plea under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, challenging the maintainability of the Hindus’ suit, as directed by the Supreme Court.

The survey was ordered by a civil court in Varanasi that was earlier hearing the matter. But before the report of the survey was submitted, the court heard a representation from advocates of the Hindu petitioners and ordered the sealing of the mosque. Videos alleged to be part of the survey were leaked in the public domain, prompting the Hindu plaintiffs to claim the discovery of a shivling while the Muslim side argued that it was part of a fountain of the mosque’s wuzu khana.

The masjid panel had then approached the Supreme Court, which directed that the sealing order should not in any way prevent Muslims from accessing the mosque. The top court had also transferred the matter to a district court, which is now hearing the dispute.

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Printable version | May 29, 2022 11:30:10 am |