Both sides to get ASI’s Gyanvapi report, but they can’t disclose it : The Tribune India

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Both sides to get ASI’s Gyanvapi report, but they can’t disclose it

Varanasi court tells rival parties to submit affidavit

Both sides to get ASI’s Gyanvapi report, but they can’t disclose it

The Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi where the ASI conducted a survey. PTI



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 24

Holding that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex survey can be given to both the Hindu and the Muslim sides, a Varanasi court on Wednesday, however, asked them not to make it public.

District Judge AK Vishvesh asked both the parties to give an affidavit undertaking not to make the report public, the Hindu side’s counsel Madan Mohan Yadav told reporters in Varanasi. The ASI had submitted its survey report to the district court in a sealed cover on December 18, 2023. The order to the parties to keep the ASI survey report with themselves came after the Muslim side urged the district court that it should not be made public. The court ordered that while taking copies of the report, the parties shall file separate affidavits to keep the report with them and not to make it public.

Following a July 21 order of the district court, the ASI carried out the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple to determine if the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple.

Yadav said the ASI submitted its survey report in the Court of Fast-Track Judge Prashant Singh after which the matter came in the district court, which ordered that hard copies of the report should be supplied to the parties.

The survey was ordered by the court after the Hindu petitioners claimed the 17th century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing Hindu temple. The ASI had on January 3 requested the court not to make its Gyanvapi complex survey report public for at least four weeks.

Citing the December 19 judgment of the Allahabad High Court, ASI counsel Amit Shrivastava had told the district court that the high court had said that, if necessary, the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Fast-Track Court could order a survey of the Gyanvapi complex once again. If the survey report came into the public domain now, a situation of contradiction might arise, Shrivastava had said, seeking four weeks to open the survey report and make it available to the parties.

The high court had on December 19 dismissed the Muslim side’s plea challenging the maintainability of a suit seeking restoration of a temple where the Gyanvapi mosque now stood in Varanasi.

(With PTI inputs)

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