Gyanvapi: SC Refuses to Stop Puja in Vyasji Ka Tehkhana, Setback to  Masjid Committee


The Supreme Court has refused to stop ‘puja’ ceremonies at the ‘Vyas Tehkhana’ within the Gyanvapi Mosque, but directed that religious rituals performed by Hindus on the grounds of the mosque remain unchanged.

The mosque committee had approached the Supreme Court following the Allahabad High Court’s decision not to consider the Muslim side’s plea against the Varanasi District Court’s decision, which had allowed ‘puja’ in the ‘Vyas Tehkhana’ of the Gyanvapi Masjid.

A three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice JB Pardiwala and Justice Manoj Mishra said it would be appropriate to issue notice on the mosque committee’s plea. The bench said that while the access to the ‘Tahkhana’ is from the southern side and the access to the mosque for offering ‘Namaz’ is from the northern side, it is appropriate to maintain the status quo as the ‘Namaz’ is being offered by the Muslims without any hindrance, And the ‘puja’ and rituals performed by Hindu priests are limited to ‘Vyasji’s basement’.

Senior lawyer Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, argued that the trial court and high court orders provide final relief in the interim stage. He expressed concern that the Gyanvapi Mosque was being gradually encroached upon and urged the apex court to stay the order.

The Hindu side was represented by senior advocate Shyam Diwan and advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain.

During the proceedings, Ahmadi highlighted that the state government, not a party to the case, immediately implemented the order, preventing his client from seeking a stay. He stressed that the ‘puja’ going on in the basement of the mosque complex is a cause for concern. The bench questioned the existence of two locks, to which Ahmadi replied that even though he was in possession, he did not take any action for 30 years, raising doubts on the basis of interim relief after such a long period.

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About the Author: Ashish Sinha

-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008