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SC Refuses to Stop Hindu Prayers in Gyanvapi Mosque Cellar

gyanvapi

In a significant development, the Supreme Court has declined to stay the ongoing puja in the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi. The court’s decision comes after a Varanasi court had previously permitted the puja to continue12.

Background

The Gyanvapi mosque, also known as Vyas Ji ka Tehkhana, has been at the center of a legal battle. Both the Muslim and Hindu communities have been conducting their respective religious observances within the mosque premises. The recent court orders have allowed for unhindered namaz by Muslims and puja by Hindu priests in specific areas.

Court’s Ruling

The Supreme Court bench, led by Chief Justice D. Y. Chandrachud, emphasized the need to maintain status quo. It recognized that the namaz is offered by the Muslim community in the Gyanvapi mosque without hindrance, while the Hindu priest’s puja is confined to the area of the Tehkhana (cellar). The court’s decision aims to enable both communities to worship in accordance with their beliefs.

Legal Challenges

The Gyanvapi mosque management committee filed a fresh plea challenging an Allahabad High Court decision. The high court had upheld a lower court’s order allowing Hindu prayers in the southern cellar of the mosque. The Uttar Pradesh government’s 1993 decision to halt worship rituals inside the Vyas Tehkhana was deemed “illegal” by the high court.

Next Steps

The Supreme Court has summoned a response from priest Shailendra Kumar Pathak Vyas on behalf of the mosque committee by April 30. The court’s decision seeks to balance the rights of both communities while preserving the sanctity of the Gyanvapi mosque1.

As the legal battle continues, the Gyanvapi case remains a focal point for discussions on religious rights and communal harmony. The court’s refusal to halt the ongoing puja underscores the delicate balance between faith and legal proceedings.

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