Gyanvapi Case: Supreme Court refuses to stop ongoing puja in mosque cellar

05:54PM Mon 1 Apr, 2024

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to stay Hindu prayers in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque and requested a response from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple trustees regarding the mosque management committee's plea.
The apex court also ordered the maintenance of status quo regarding the offering of namaz by Muslims in the Gyanvapi premises in Varanasi.

Supreme Court bench observed, "Bearing in mind the fact that the ‘namaz’ is offered in Gyanvapi mosque by the Muslim community unhindered after the orders dated January 17 and January 31, and the offering of ‘puja’ by Hindu priest is confined to the area of ‘Tehkhana’, it is appropriate to maintain status-quo to enable both the communities to offer worships in the above terms".
The court entertained a fresh plea from the Gyanvapi mosque management committee challenging an Allahabad High Court decision that upheld a lower court's order permitting Hindu prayers in the southern cellar of the mosque.

A bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud also summoned a response from priest Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas by April 30 on behalf of the mosque committee.
The bench, comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, heard the plea of the mosque committee responsible for overseeing the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi.
The high court, on February 26, dismissed the committee's plea challenging the district court's January 31 order allowing Hindus to offer prayers in the cellar.
In its dismissal, the high court remarked that the Uttar Pradesh government's 1993 decision to halt worship rituals inside the "Vyas Tehkhana" - situated at the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi - was deemed "illegal."