The apex court will hear an appeal filed by the Anjuman Mosque Committee against the Varanasi court’s order directing a videographic survey after the court’s compulsory practice ended on Monday, a day before the court’s next hearing on Tuesday.
For the third day in a row, the survey started at 8 am and ended at 10:15 am. As of Sunday, 65 percent of the survey had been completed, officials said.
A Varanasi court last week ordered a videographic survey to be carried out inside a mosque next to the Kashi Bishwanath temple. The local court had been hearing the plea of a group of five women for a year to allow Hindu deities to pray behind the mosque.
After the survey ended on Monday, Varanasi Police Commissioner Satish Ganesh told reporters, “The three-day action ended on Monday. This was done in an ideal environment where no law enforcement incidents took place. We thank the people of Kashi for their cooperation. ” He urged the media not to “pay attention to any unofficial statements”.
“After working for more than two hours, the Court Commission finished its work around 10.15am on Monday. All the parties were satisfied with the work, ”Varanasi District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma, who called for peace before the start of the three-day survey, told reporters.
Mr Sharma declined to disclose any information regarding the survey, adding that the court’s findings were confidential. “The court commissioner instructed all parties not to disclose what was found inside until the report was submitted to the court on May 17 (Tuesday). Only the court is the custodian of this information. If anyone tells you something, it is their personal opinion. It has nothing to do with the action of the court commission, “he said.
The survey was suspended last week after some people barred the Advocate Commissioner from entering the mosque premises, arguing that the survey order did not allow the same.
In his order last Thursday, District Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Divakar rejected an application by the mosque management to replace Advocate Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra because the mosque authorities suspected that he was biased towards Hindu applicants.
The judge appointed two more advocates to assist the court commissioner in the survey and said it should be completed by Tuesday.
The district court said the lock had to be broken if the key was not found to access certain areas of the complex for the survey. If the survey is not allowed, it has asked the district authorities to register an FIR.
The Supreme Court last Friday refused to issue an interim injunction in the survey. The apex court, however, agreed to consider the list of petitions filed by a Muslim party against the survey.
A videography team conducted the survey, in addition to three court-appointed advocate commissioners, five lawyers from both sides and an assistant.