The verdict in the Shringar Gauri-Gyanvapi case will be delivered on Monday by Varanasi District Court. District Judge AK Vishvesh had reserved the order until September 12 in the matter last month.
The judgment concerns the viability of a petition filed by Hindu women requesting authorization to worship Hindu deities in the Gyanvapi Mosque complex. On Sunday, a day before the district court order, security was increased, and prohibitory orders (Section 144) were issued in Uttar Pradesh’s Varanasi.
The police have deployed forces in areas of the city with a mixed population, and patrolling is ongoing to ensure that no law and order situation arises as a result of the legality of a petition filed by five Hindu women seeking permission to worship at the Shringar Gauri Sthal within the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Masjid complex.
“A Varanasi court may pronounce judgment on a crucial matter. Section 144 was implemented in the city. Police force posted in areas where the mixed population resides. Patrolling is on. We are doing our best to ensure that no law and order situation arises,” said Police Commissioner, A Satish Ganesh. The petition was filed by five Hindu women seeking permission to worship at the Shringar Gauri Sthal within the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Masjid complex. The survey work was concluded on May 16, and the report was delivered in court on May 19. Following the videography survey, the Hindu side claimed that a structure resembling a Shivling was discovered in the mosque compound.
Appointed District Judge
The Masjid committee claimed it was a fountain, not a Shivling. On May 20, the Supreme Court shifted the case from a civil court (senior division) to a district judge, stating that due to the “complexities and sensitivity” of the problem, it is preferable that this case be handled by a senior judicial officer with over 25-30 years of experience. The bench further stated that no restrictions should be put on Muslims who visit the mosque to perform namaz or other religious observances.
It had ordered that its interim order issued on May 17 to protect the area where the Shivling was discovered and to allow Muslims to perform namaz remain in effect until the maintainability of the suit is decided, and then for eight weeks to allow parties to pursue legal remedies. It had said that the District Judge should decide the maintainability of the civil suit in the Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath on priority, as requested by the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Mas.
The Supreme Court heard the case after the Mosque Management Committee filed a petition challenging the civil judge’s orders. The ruling authorized the inspection, survey, and videography of the mosque complex in order to gather evidence about the suspected presence of Hindu deity idols inside the mosque, which is adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple.
They filed a plea for the Shivling’s protection, and the civil judge ordered the district magistrate in Varanasi to seal the location where the Shivling was spotted. It also ordered the deployment of the CRPF to guard the sealed area and forbade anyone from accessing it.
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