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Gyanvapi mosque: SC agrees to list on April 21 plea to consolidate all suits pending in Varanasi court

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to list for hearing on April 21 a plea of the Hindu side seeking consolidation of all suits pending in a Varanasi court pertaining to the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath dispute.
A bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala said it will list the matter for hearing on April 21 when the other matter will come up for hearing. Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain mentioned the matter before the bench saying the Varanasi district court was not passing an order on the issue.
Advocate Jain said that the district judge of Varanasi has deferred five times the decision on a plea seeking clubbing of all civil suits relating to the dispute.
The bench then said that it will list the matter for hearing on April 21.
On May 17, 2022, the Supreme Court by an interim order directed the authorities to protect the area where the 'Shivling' was found and granted access to Muslims for namaz.
On February 8 this year, the apex court extended its order till further orders.
Varanasi district court on September 12 2022, had held that the suit was not barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and rejected the application filed by the Muslim side under Order 7 Rule 11 (rejection of plaints).
It had dismissed the plea of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee that manages Gyanvapi mosque questioning the maintainability of the suit filed by Hindu women.
The top court is seized of an appeal filed by the Committee challenging an order of Allahabad High Court permitting a court-appointed commissioner to inspect and conduct a survey and videography of the Gyanvapi mosque to which Hindus and Muslims have laid claim for the right to worship.
On May 20, 2022, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the case related to worship at Gyanvapi mosque from the civil judge to the district judge, Varanasi. On the same day, it had also extended its May 17 order of protection of 'Shivling'.
It had said that the district judge should decide the maintainability of the civil suit in the Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath on priority as sought by the Committee of Management Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Varanasi. (ANI)

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