3 August, 2023 | Anupam Shrivastava
The Allahabad High Court had instructed the ASI not to begin the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi while the court hearing was ongoing.
The Allahabad High Court granted permission to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi. Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi survey case, informed reporters, “Allahabad High Court has said that ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque complex will start. Sessions court order is upheld by the High Court.”
The court dismissed the plea filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which challenged the ASI survey of the mosque complex located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. The committee had contested the Varanasi District Judge’s order issued on July 21.
Earlier, on July 21, Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha had ordered the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi complex based on an application filed by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023. However, the district judge’s order excluded the Wuzu Khana (ablution pond area) of the complex, which had been sealed by the top court’s order.
Initially, the Allahabad High Court had instructed the ASI not to begin the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi while the court hearing was ongoing. The Supreme Court had suspended the detailed scientific survey by the ASI until 5 pm on July 26, aiming to determine if the mosque, situated next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, was constructed on a pre-existing temple.
The court was hearing a plea against a district court order that directed the ASI to carry out the contentious survey.
Subsequently, the Supreme Court corrected its order related to the Gyanvapi mosque case, addressing the inadvertent disposal of an appeal by the committee questioning the maintainability of a suit filed by Hindus in the trial court seeking worship rights inside the mosque.
While granting interim relief by staying the ASI survey, the top court disposed of the main case on July 24.
The mosque committee had approached the Supreme Court with an interim plea within the pending petition, seeking a halt to the ASI’s work.