New Delhi: The Varanasi court on Monday said the Hindu petition for worship in Shringar Gauri was maintainable and the plea of five Hindu women seeking the right to worship in the Gyanvapi complex will be heard.
“Muslim petitioners are likely to approach the Allahabad High Court in appeal,” petitioner Sohan Lal Arya said, but added that they will continue to contest the case.
Here is the timeline of the case:
1998: Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee approached the Allahabad High Court that the temple-mosque land dispute could not be decided by a civil court as it was not permissible by the law. The High Court granted a stay to the proceedings for 22 years.
2019: The case was revived when a plea was filed on behalf of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar as the deity’s next friend in the Varanasi court demanding a survey by ASI in the disputed area.
2020: Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee opposed the petition seeking ASI survey of the entire Gyanvapi complex.
2020: The petitioner approached the lower court for the resumption of the hearing of the 1991 petition.
March 2021: The Places of Worship Act 1991 was taken up by a Supreme Court bench headed by then former Chief Justice S.A. Bobde. The petitioner was Ashwani Upadhyay.
August 2021: Five female Hindu devotees filed a petition in the Varanasi Court seeking to worship deities Hanuman, Nandi, and Shringar Gauri, inside the Gyanvapi complex.
September 2021: Allahabad High Court said that the court should wait for further judgement in the already proceeding cases of the matter.
April 2022: Based on the petition filed in August 2021, the Varanasi district court appointed a court commissioner and videography survey of the complex. Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee challenged it in the Allahabad High court, which upheld the lower court order. The Masjid Committee also filed a Special Leave Petition in the Supreme Court.
May 6, 2022: The video graphics survey of the complex began.
May 12, 2022: The court appointed senior advocate Vishal Singh to supervise the survey. He was appointed as special court commissioner. The court directed them to report details of the survey by May 17.
May 14-19, 2022: The survey was resumed again and was conducted for two days. All the survey findings were submitted in a report to the court.
May 20, 2022: The case proceedings were transferred to a district judge by the Supreme Court.
May 26, 2022: The district court began hearing the maintainability petition of the case.
June 21, 2022: Varanasi civil judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar, who had ordered the video survey of Gyanvapi mosque, is transferred to Bareilly.
July 11, 2022: The Hindu petitioners in the Gyanvapi case decide to form a new trust, Shri AdiMahadev Kashi Dharmalaya Mukti Nyas.
July 18, 2022: The Supreme Court agreed to list a plea seeking ‘puja’, ‘darshan’, ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey and carbon dating by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) of the Shivling purportedly discovered in the Gyanvapi mosque’s ablution area during a court-ordered survey.
August 24, 2022: Varanasi Court reserved its order till September 12. The time was given to both parties to complete their arguments.
September 12, 2022: The Varanasi district judge on Monday ruled that the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri case is maintainable while dismissing the case of the Muslim side. The Masjid committee had objected to the plea seeking year-long access for Hindu worshippers in the Gyanvapi mosque compound.
The court fixed September 22 as the next date of hearing in the case.