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Judiciary

Supreme Court rejects plea against transfer of Gyanvapi case in HC

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      04 November, 2023 02:07 PM      0 Comments
Supreme Court rejects plea against transfer of Gyanvapi case in HC

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to allow a plea by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee challenging the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice’s administrative decision to shift and withdraw the Gyanvapi case from a single-judge bench, who was hearing the matter since 2021, to another bench.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra declined to interfere with Chief Justice Diwaker’s order, saying certain things should remain within the realm of Chief Justice of the High Court.

The single-judge bench of the high court was hearing the plea challenging the maintainability of a suit seeking restoration of a temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque exists in Varanasi.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, for the mosque committee, which manages the mosque, contended before the bench, also comprising Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, that the order was unjust and unfair to the judge concerned. He claimed the complaint was made by one of the parties on July 27, 2023 without sharing the copy with the appellant.

The bench, however, said, “We should not interfere with the order of the chief justice of the high court…In high courts, it is a very standard practice”.

The bench said the chief justice of the high court has indicated the reasons, while declining to interfere with the high court’s decision.

"There are grounds by the Chief Justice. We will leave at that," the bench said.

While dismissing the plea, the CJI perused the reasons for transfer of the case. The CJI said he did not want to read it in open court.

“Paras 11 and 12, sort of put a disquiet in our minds. What the chief has said in paras 11 and 12, those two sentences are enough for us to affirm the order,” the bench said.

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee moved the apex court challenging the withdrawal of the case from one single judge bench of Justice Prakash Padia and its assignment to some other bench by the chief justice of the high court.

According to Chief Justice Diwaker's order, Justice Padia had heard the matter first in 2021 and reserved it for judgment on March 15, 2021, but the judgment was never delivered. Thereafter, it was reheard by Justice Padia in 2022. He took up the matter again on August 25, 2023, and reserved the judgment.

The top court's bench however, pointed out that the High Court Chief Justice "has indicated rea- sons" in his August 28 order. Referring to the 2013 administra- tive direction, the CJI said the par- ties had the option to go before the Chief Justice and say this has been heard very substantially and the Chief Justice would have allowed them to go back to the same judge.



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