Allahabad HC stays ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque till Thursday

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday stayed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi till Thursday.

The matter will now be heard at 3.30 p.m. on Thursday.

A bench of Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker passed the order while hearing the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee’s challenge to the Varanasi district judge’s July 21 order for an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque.

The Anjuman Mosque Committee moved the High Court on Tuesday challenging the order of the Varanasi court directing the ASI to survey the mosque premises (except for wuzukhana).

This order was passed on an application filed by 4 Hindu women who are party to a suit filed before the districtcCourt seeking year-round access to worship inside mosque premises.

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The Supreme Court on July 24 had stayed the ASI survey till July 26 so as to allow some “breathing time” to the Masjid committee to approach the High Court.

Hearing the case on Wednesday, the Allahabad High Court expressed its “strong doubts” regarding the work to be carried out by the ASI.

The oral observation was made by Chief Justice Diwaker after the ASG, appearing for the ASI failed to explain to the bench the exact methodology of the proposed survey.

Although the government law officer made efforts to clarify to the bench that it would be using the ground-penetrating radar (GPR) method without causing any damage to the structure, the court was not convinced.

To another query by the court, an ASI official present during the hearing said that it had completed only 5 per cent of the survey on Monday before the Supreme Court stopped it. The ASI assured that no damage would be done to the structure.  (IANS)

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