NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday upheld Allahabad HC Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker’s decision to withdraw to himself the case relating to determination of religious character of Gyanvapi mosque, which Hindus claim was built after demolishing parts of the ancient Vishwanath Temple, from Justice Prakash Padia, days before he was to pronounce judgment on the maintainability of the Hindu side’s civil suit.
A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra rejected a petition by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, Varanasi (Gyanvapi mosque), despite senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi’s arguments against the Allahabad HC CJ’s decision, terming it a step that would cause indignity to the judge who had heard the case for 75 days spanning almost three years.
Ahmadi said two days after Justice Padia reserved verdict on July 25 and notified that the judgment would be pronounced on August 28, a complaint was filed by the counsel representing one of the Hindu sides alleging judicial impropriety. “The litigant can’t choose the judge is the basic principle of justice dispensation,” he said.
The CJI and his companion judges perused the detailed order of CJ Diwaker and said the latter has indicated sufficient reasons for transfer on grounds of “procedural aberration and jurisdictional impropriety” and there was little the SC could do to interfere with the withdrawal of the case from Justice Padia to the bench led by CJ Diwaker.
In August, CJ Diwaker had ordered transfer of the matter from a bench of Justice Padia, which had been hearing the matter since 2021, to his own court in the “interest of judicial propriety, judicial discipline and transparency in the listing of cases”.

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