A fast-track court on Monday postponed till November 17 its judgment on a plea seeking permission to allow the worship of a "Shivling" claimed to have been found inside the Gyanvapi mosque complex here.
Civil Judge (senior division) Mahendra Pandey postponed the judgment till November 17, Assistant District Government Counsel Sulabh Prakash said.
After hearing the arguments of both the sides to the dispute, the court had, on October 27, reserved its order on the suit for November 8.
As the judge was on leave on November 8, the matter was posted for Monday.
On May 24, complainant Kiran Singh, general secretary of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, filed the suit in the Varanasi district court, seeking a ban on the entry of Muslims into the Gyanvapi complex, handing over of the complex to the Sanatan Sangh and permission to offer prayers to the "Shivling".
On May 25, District Judge A K Vishvesh had ordered the transfer of the suit to the fast-track court.
The Varanasi district magistrate, the police commissioner, the Anjuman Intezamia Committee, which manages the affairs of the Gyanvapi mosque, and the Vishwanath Temple Trust were made respondents in the suit.
On April 26, a lower court (civil judge-senior division) that was earlier hearing a plea moved by a group of women seeking permission for the daily worship of the idols of the Hindu deities on the mosque's outer walls had ordered a videographic survey of the Gyanvapi complex. The Hindu side had claimed that a "Shivling" was found inside the mosque complex during the exercise.
However, the Muslim side has maintained that the structure was part of the fountain mechanism at the "wazookhana" reservoir, where devotees carry out ritual ablutions before offering "namaz".
The Supreme Court had transferred the case from the civil judge senior division to the district judge on May 20 and observed that looking at the "complexities" and "sensitivity" of the issue, it is better if a senior judicial officer with an experience of more than 25-30 years handles the case.
The district judge is hearing another plea that has demanded a survey of the closed underground places on the Gyanvapi premises. This case will be heard on November 11.
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