ASI submits sealed Gyanvapi survey report to Varanasi court : The Tribune India

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ASI submits sealed Gyanvapi survey report to Varanasi court

ASI submits sealed Gyanvapi survey report to Varanasi court

The report is to be opened before December 21 as per court's directions.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 18

Almost five months after a Varanasi court ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple to determine if the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple, the ASI submitted its report on Monday. “The report in sealed cover was placed before the court by ASI’s standing counsel Amit Srivastava,” advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, who represented the Hindu petitioners, said.

The court has fixed December 21 to open the sealed report and supply its copies to advocates of both sides, Yadav said, adding that four senior ASI officials were present in the court.

The Varanasi district court had on July 21 directed the ASI to conduct a “detailed scientific survey”, including excavations wherever necessary, to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple is built upon a temple. The order was upheld by the Allahabad High Court on August 3. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque at Varanasi, had moved the Supreme Court which on August 2 refused to stay the HC’s order allowing a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex by the ASI.

A Bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud had, however, said the ASI would carry out the survey through “non-invasive methodology” in a non-destructive manner. The survey would exclude the “wuzu khana” area of the complex where a Shivling was reported to have been found last year. “The job or function of the ASI is to preserve and protect property, monuments of historic importance, and hence there is no basis for the apprehension that any damage will be caused to the structure,” the top court had said.

(With agency inputs)

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