Gyanvapi Mosque Case Hearing Today Following Plea By Hindu Women: 10 Points

A Varanasi civil court had ordered the survey of the mosque complex while hearing a petition by five Hindu women seeking permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls. It was claimed that a shivling was found in the mosque compound during the survey.

In the eye of a storm Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi

The Varanasi District and Sessions Court will resume hearing the Gyanvapi case on Monday days after ruling that a plea by five Hindu women to pray inside the Shringar Gauri shrine inside the mosque complex next to Kashi Vishwanath temple is legally maintainable. 

Here's how the case has unfurled: 10 Points

1. In its hearing on September 12, the court maintained had rejected the maintainability plea by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee. 

2. The court observed that the Hindu side was not asking to "covert" the mosque but only seeking the right to "worship" inside a disputed property. Under a law made in 1991, places of worship should be allowed to exist as they were on August 15, 1947. The Babri Masjid case was the exception.

3. The Muslim petitioners had challenged the maintainability of the Hindu petitioners' plea, arguing that it was not maintainable under the Places of Worship Act 1991 which prohibits conversion of any place of worship and mandates the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947

4. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had said the Gyanvapi mosque is a Waqf property and had questioned the maintainability of the plea. Madan Mohan Yadav, a lawyer of the Hindu side, had said that the mosque was constructed after demolishing the temple.

5. Earlier, the Varanasi Court had directed filming on the mosque based on the petition filed by the Hindu women. 

6. The videography report, controversially leaked by the Hindu petitioners, claimed a "Shivling" or relic of Lord Shiva had been found in a pond within the mosque complex used for "Wazoo" or purification rituals before Muslim prayers.

7. The filming inside the mosque was challenged in the Supreme Court by the Gyanvapi mosque committee, which said the move violates the 1991 law (Places of Worship Act).

8. The court-appointed commission that surveyed the mosque complex submitted its report on May 19.

9. Earlier, the Supreme Court on May 20 transferred the civil suit filed by Hindu devotees on Gyanvapi mosque from civil judge (senior division) to district judge of Varanasi, citing complexities and sensitivity of the case and saying it is better for a senior judicial officer to handle it.

10. The Gyanvapi mosque is located close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.