VARANASI (UP), May 18 (PTI): Hearing in the Gyanvapi mosque case could not take place in a court here on Wednesday as lawyers in the district were on a strike in protest against the remarks of a government official.
The Banaras Bar Association and the Central Bar Association, Varanasi had decided to boycott work as they were upset over the remarks of a Special Secretary against lawyers, according to advocate Abhay Yadav, representing the Muslim side in the case.
The court was scheduled to hear two petitions related to the case Wednesday.
One of them filed by the Hindu side to remove a wall and debris around a “Shivling” which was claimed to have been found during a court-mandated videography survey, and the other moved by District Government Advocate Mahendra Pandey on shifting fish from a pond located on the premises.
Yadav said the Muslim side also wanted to move an application before District Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar, seeking two days from the court to file their objection to the petition of the Hindu side.
This application also could not be submitted in the court. The petitions will now be heard when the court opens, he said.
Madan Mohan Yadav, representing the Hindu side, said they had urged the Bar Association to allow the lawyers to participate in the hearing in the case on Wednesday since the eyes of the whole country are on the Gyanvapi Masjid case, but it did not yield any result.
The mosque is adjacent to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple and the local court is hearing a plea by a group of five Hindu women — Rekha Pathak, Manju Vyas, Sita Sahu, Laxmi Devi and Rakhi Singh — seeking the court’s permission for daily prayers before the idols on its outer walls.
On Tuesday, Pathak, Vyas and Sahu had filed a fresh plea in the court claiming that there is a basement to the east of the spot where the “Shivling” was claimed to have been found. The basement has been sealed with brick, stone and cement, they have said.
Besides, there is also a wall and a basement in front of an idol of Nandi in the Kashi Vishwanath temple, and this basement has also been blocked with brick, stone, sand and other items, they have said.
They have demanded in the petition the removal of the debris and a survey of the area by the court appointed advocate commissioner. They also said the commission should be directed to file a report on the length, width and height of the claimed Shivling.
The court had accepted the application and scheduled a hearing for Wednesday. Along with this, a petition was filed on Tuesday on behalf of District Government Advocate Mahendra Pandey, demanding shifting fishes from the water of a pond located on the premises, as well as shifting the pipeline of wazoo khana (a place for ritual ablution before the namaz). This was also to be heard on Wednesday.
The Varanasi court, which had ordered a videography survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex, had on Tuesday removed Advocate Commissioner Ajay Mishra for displaying “irresponsible behaviour towards the discharge of his duties”, while it also granted two more days to the commission to file the survey report.
The removal order by District Civil Judge Ravi Kumar Diwakar had come on an application moved by special advocate commissioner Vishal Singh who informed the court that Mishra had “deployed a personal cameraman RP Singh who was giving wrong byte in the media on a regular basis”.
The court had said that all the work of the commission after May 12 will be submitted by Vishal Singh.
The lawyers on strike had taken exception to a May 14 letter sent by Uttar Pradesh government Special Secretary to all district magistrates asking them to ensure that any “anarchic action” by advocates in district courts are taken note of and acted against as per the rules.
The letter also asked the DMs to apprise the government authorities concerned about the action taken in such cases from time to time.
A copy of the letter was also sent to all the district judges and the additional chief secretary Home.