He went on to note the reason why the High Court in Allahabad had not suspended the video investigation into the mosque: that it was a “benign” order.
Ahmadi explained how subsequent events showed that was not the case, with a Hindu parties lawyer in Varanasi, Hari Shankar Jain, addressing the district court with a request to seal off part of the mosque. due to the discovery of the alleged “Shivling”.
This was later accepted by the court in Varanasi although it has yet to receive the report from the commissioners, only on the allegations of the lawyer.
He went on to explain that the masjid committee was challenging all the court orders in Varanasi as they violated the Places of Worship Act 1991, as well as an earlier ruling by the Allahabad High Court in another case. relating to the Gyanvapi Mosque, suspending an order for an ASI investigation into the site.
Judge Chandrachud asked Ahmadi whether the orders, including for the sealing relating to the discovery of Shivling, really violated the 1991 law. Ahmadi argued that they did and asked the court to consider the possibility to maintain the case because of the protection of the status of a place of worship under the law.
He pointed out that the whole basis of the original complaint filed in the Varanasi court by Hindu devotees was based on the idea of redressing historic wrongs, which the 1991 law had sought to end.
Ahmadi also disputed claims that a ‘Shivling’ was found at the mosque, noting that it was actually just part of a fountain used for ritual washing before the offering of namaz (‘wazukhana‘).
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, advocating for the state of Uttar Pradesh, has asked for time to get all the facts about the situation and urged the supreme court not to issue an order until then as it should not there be no “unintended consequences” of the bench’s decision.