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SC corrects it’s July 24 order on Gyanvapi mosque committee

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New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Wednesday corrected it’s order in relation to Gyanvapi mosque case whereby on July 24 it inadvertently disposed of an appeal of the committee questioning maintainability of a suit by Hindus in trial court seeking worship rights inside the mosque.

A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra made corrections in the order and deleted the particular paragraph after taking note of the submissions of senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Huzefa mentioned the case saying during July 24 hearing, main plea was disposed of by the top court instead of the interim plea seeking stay of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey on the mosque premises to determine if it was built upon a temple.

“The appeal against Order 7 Rule 11 has been disposed of though not argued. We have only pressed the ASI survey point and the matter is before the Allahabad High Court and it can be argued there that our appeal has been dismissed,” Ahmadi told the bench.

While granting the relief on the interim plea by staying ASI survey, the top court disposed of the main case on July 24.

On July 24, the top court put on hold till 5 pm July 26 a detailed scientific survey by the ASI to determine if the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi was built upon a temple.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government and the ASI, today told the bench that he has no objection to the correction of the order.

In the main plea, the mosque committee had approached the apex court seeking dismissal of the lawsuit of the Hindu party in the Varanasi district court under Order 7 Rule 11(c) of the Civil Procedure Code for filing it on a paper which has not been duly “stamped and authorised”.

On Monday, mosque committee moved the top court with its interim plea in the pending petition seeking stay of ASI work.

On July 21, Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha ordered the ASI survey of Gyanvapi complex on an application moved by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023.

The order of the district judge, however, excluded the ablution pond area of the complex, which has been sealed on the order of the top court.

On May 12 this year, the Allahabad High Court had allowed the scientific survey of this purported “shivling” but the top court stayed this order on May 19.

During the survey, a structure — claimed to be a “Shivling” by the Hindu side and a “fountain” by the Muslim side — was found in the mosque premises on May 16 last year during a court-mandated survey of the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The High Court on May 12 set aside the Varanasi District judge order which had rejected the application for a scientific survey and carbon dating of the “Shivling” on October 14, 2022.

The High Court had directed the Varanasi District judge to proceed, in accordance with law, on the application by the Hindu worshippers for conducting a scientific probe of the “Shivling”.

Petitioners Laxmi Devi and three others had filed a plea in the High Court, challenging the order lower court order.

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