Court Junks Plea to Halt ASI Survey of Gyanvapi Complex

Varanasi: A Varanasi court on Friday dismissed the Gyanvapi mosque management committee’s request to halt the ongoing scientific survey of the complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). District Judge A K Vishvesh stated that the survey had received approval from both the Allahabad High Court and the Supreme Court, making it impossible for this court to issue any orders in this matter.

The ASI is conducting a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, to determine if the 17th-century mosque was built on the site of a Hindu temple.

The mosque management committee argued before the district court that the ASI survey was being conducted in violation of prescribed rules and should be stopped. They contended that no notice had been served to the litigants, and no fees were charged for the survey.

The district judge ruled that no new conditions could be imposed on the plaintiffs, emphasizing that the ASI is a government organization, and it’s not appropriate to compel someone to cover the survey expenses.

Furthermore, the court heard a petition from the Hindu side requesting a survey of the sealed ‘wazukhana’ in the Gyanvapi complex. A hearing on this matter has been scheduled for October 5.

This survey was initiated following the Allahabad High Court’s endorsement of a Varanasi district court order, deeming it “necessary in the interest of justice” and beneficial for both Hindu and Muslim parties. The Supreme Court had declined to stay the Allahabad High Court’s order.

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