Supreme Court: Considering the complexity of the issue related to a ‘Shivling’ found in the complex of the Gyanvali Mosque in Varanasi, the 3-judge bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and PS Narsimha, JJ has directed that the suit pending before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Varanasi should be tried before a senior and experienced judicial officer of the Uttar Pradesh Higher Judicial Service.

Hence, the District Judge will now decide the matter “on priority”.

The Court has further directed:

  • Since parties are appearing on notice, all orders in the suit shall be passed upon hearing the parties;
  • The interim order dated 17 May 2022 shall continue to remain in operation pending the disposal of the application under Order VII Rule 11 CPC and thereafter for a period of eight weeks so as to enable any party which is aggrieved by the order of the District Judge to pursue its rights and remedies in accordance with law;
  • Unless adequate arrangements for ensuring the due observance of Waju have already been made by the District Magistrate, we direct the District Magistrate, in consultation with the parties, to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made for the religious observance;
  • The order passed by the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Varanasi on 16 May 2022 shall stand subsumed by the terms of the order dated 17 May 2022, pending further orders.

The Court will now hear the matter on July 21, 2022.

[Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi v. Rakhi Singh, 2022 SCC OnLine SC 696, order dated 20.05.2022]

Also read:

‘Protect ‘Shivling’ but don’t stop Namaz’: Supreme Court on claim of Shivling found in Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Mosque

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