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Gyanvapi case: Allahabad HC dismisses mosque committee’s challenge to ASI survey

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday disowned a plea filed by the Gyanvapi mosque committee seeking a stay on the court-ordered “scientific survey” by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of the mosque complex. The court ordered that the survey should be executed by ASI.

The High Court rejected a plea filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee which had questioned an order passed on July 21 by a Varanasi court directing ASI to do a “scientific survey” of the Gyanvapi mosque premises. The court had also directed ASI to “find out” whether the “present structure” was “constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple”.

The subject was heard by Allahabad High Court Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker, who had on July 27 said the survey would not be conducted until the High Court passes its order on August 3.

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Faizan’s statement on the Gyanvapi case

Syed Ahmad Faizan, the advocate, who appeared on behalf of the mosque committee, said, “Our application has been rejected. The court has ordered that the survey should be continued and that the trial in the matter in the Varanasi court be expedited. We are waiting to see the detailed order when it comes.”

A lawyer from the Hindu side, who represented four women, also confirmed the court ordered that the survey should continue “in the interest of justice”. “The court has allowed the survey, and has rejected the mosque committee’s plea before it,” said the lawyer.

Dr. Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha, District and Sessions Judge, allowing an application by the four Hindu women petitioners, in his July 21 order, directed ASI to “conduct Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey just below the three domes of the building in question and conduct excavation if required.” The survey was to exclude the Wuzukhana area.

The order stated, “The Director of ASI is also directed to conduct a detailed scientific investigation by using GPR Survey, Excavation, Dating method and other modern techniques of the present structure to find out… whether the same has been constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.” 

It directed ASI to investigate the age and nature of the construction of the western wall of the building in question through scientific methods.

The order was subsequently challenged in the Supreme Court. A bench led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud put the Varanasi court order on hold until July 26 to allow the mosque committee to move the High Court against the district court’s order.

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