Varanasi: A district court hearing the Gyanvapi mosque-Shringar Gauri complex case here gave the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee time till August 18 to file its response in the case.

The Muslim side had sought 15 days' time to present its response to the Hindu petitioners' arguments as their main advocate had died of heart failure a few days ago, according to Madan Mohan Yadav, the lawyer representing the Hindu side in the case.

Taking this into consideration, the court fixed next hearing for August 18.

Rakhi Singh and others had filed a petition seeking permission for daily worship of Hindu deities whose idols are located on an outer wall of the mosque but the Muslim side had urged the court to dismiss the case.

Earlier, a lower court had ordered a videography survey of the complex.

The survey work was completed on May 16 and the report was presented in the court on May 19.

The Hindu side had claimed in the court that a Shivling was found during the videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex but the Muslim side had claimed that it was part of a fountain mechanism.

The Muslim side had filed an application in the Supreme Court against the survey, citing the violation of the Places of Worship Act 1991, which prohibits the conversion of any place of worship and provides for maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The apex court refused to stay the videography survey, it had directed that the matter be heard in the district court instead of the lower court.

At present, the district court is hearing arguments on the maintainability of the case.—PTI

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