The Supreme Court on Thursday agreed to constitute a Bench to hear a plea at 3 pm on November 11 to extend the protection of an area in the Gyanvapi mosque premises where a ‘shivling’ was found.
Chief Justice of India D.Y. Chandrachud agreed to constitute the Bench to hear the case on Friday after advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain mentioned that the apex court’s interim order to protect the area would expire on November 12.
In May, the apex court had ordered the securing of the ‘shivling’ area while Muslims would be able to offer namaaz in the mosque.
The court had ordered the District Magistrate to make appropriate arrangements, if not already made, for Muslims to offer wazu khana before namaaz at the mosque.
The Supreme Court had also transferred the Gyanvapi Masjid suit proceedings from a civil judge to the District Judge of Varanasi, saying the social complexities of the dispute required a “more senior and experienced judicial officer”.
The District Judge had in October dismissed an application by the Hindu plaintiffs for carbon dating of the disputed structure (shivling) which was allegedly found during a court-ordered video survey of the mosque premises.
District Judge A.K. Vishvesha had noted that conducting any kind of scientific investigation on the structure, like carbon-dating or ground penetrating radar, may cause damage to it, which would be in violation of the Supreme Court’s May 17 order to protect the structure.