Court rejects mosque panel's plea to stop ASI survey

Court rejects mosque panel's plea to stop ASI survey

One-liner: A court in Varanasi has rejected the Gyanvapi mosque management committee's plea to stop the ongoing scientific survey of the complex by the Archaeological Survey of India.

Survey okayed by HC and SC: District govt advocate Rajesh Mishra said that on the plea filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid's committee, District Judge A K Vishvesh said the survey has already got the nod from the Allahabad HC and the SC.

  • Hence, it was not possible to pass any order in this matter from this court, the judge said

Scientific survey: The ASI is carrying out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises, next to Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a Hindu temple.

Mosque management claim: Mishra said the mosque management committee had claimed before the district court that the ASI survey was being conducted against the prescribed rules and should be stopped.

  • No notice was served to the litigants and no fees were charged, the mosque committee argued

What the judge said: The district judge said that no new conditions can be imposed on the plaintiffs. "The ASI  is not a private organisation. It is doing govt work. It is not right to force someone to pay the expenses of the survey," the judge said.

Hearing on Oct 5: Mishra said the court also heard the petition of the Hindu side to survey the sealed 'wazukhana' in the Gyanvapi complex. The court has fixed Oct 5 for a hearing on this matter.

Survey necessary: The survey began after the Allahabad HC upheld a Varanasi district court order and ruled that the survey is necessary in the interest of justice and will benefit both the Hindu and Muslim sides. 

Bottom line: The Supreme Court had refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order.

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