SC Asks Varanasi Collector to Hold Meeting to Provide Wazu’ Facilities at Gyanvapi Mosque Complex

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Varanasi district collector to hold a meeting for providing “congenial” working arrangements for ‘wazu’ (ritual ablution) for Muslim devotees at the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala was apprised by Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government, that the meeting would be held on Tuesday and the decision will be implemented for providing facilities for wazu’ on the premises.

The court was hearing a plea by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee seeking permission for ‘wazu’ at the mosque complex in Varanasi during the month of Ramzan.

The top court referred to its order of May 20 last year where it had directed that facilities for wazu’ and washrooms be provided to devotees following the sealing of certain areas inside the premises.

“The solicitor general assures the court that a meeting shall be convened tomorrow by the district collector so that a congenial working arrangement is provided,” the bench noted in the order.

The bench also recorded the statement of the mosque management committee that it will be satisfied if even mobile toilets are provided.

The court has now posted the matter for further hearing on Friday and directed that the solution, if found in the meeting, can be implemented in the meanwhile and a formal order may be passed on the next date of hearing.

The apex court had on November 11 last year extended till further orders the protection of the area where a ‘Shivling’ was claimed to have been found.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the Masjid committee, requested the bench to take up the matter for hearing soon, saying the month of Ramzan is underway and adequate arrangements should be made.

He had said the water for ‘wazu’ is being used from a drum and the number of worshippers has increased in view of Ramzan.

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