Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi court to decide on Saturday on making ASI survey report public : The Tribune India

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Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi court to decide on Saturday on making ASI survey report public

ASI has urged the court not to make its report public for at least four more weeks

Gyanvapi mosque row: Varanasi court to decide on Saturday on making ASI survey report public

The Allahabad High Court had on December 19 dismissed several pleas from the Muslim side challenging the maintainability of a suit seeking restoration of a temple where the Gyanvapi mosque now stands in Varanasi. PTI file



PTI

Varanasi (UP), January 5

A Varanasi court is likely to give a ruling on Saturday on making the sealed ASI survey report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex public and providing copies of it to the Hindu and Muslim sides.

The court of District Judge A K Vishvesh on Friday said since the order on the issue has not been typed out yet, it will be given on Saturday, said Madan Mohan Yadav, the lawyer for the Hindu side.

The counsels of both Hindu and Muslim sides as well as that of the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) were present in court.

The ASI on Wednesday urged the court not to make its report public for at least four more weeks.

The judge could not take up the matter on Thursday as he was busy at an event, his office said, adding that the matter was then posted for Friday.

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

The survey was ordered by the court after the petitioners claimed the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing temple.

On Wednesday, Yadav said the ASI requested the court for four more weeks before the sealed survey report is opened. The ASI submitted its survey report to the district court in a sealed cover on December 18.

Yadav said the ASI referred to a recent judgment of the Allahabad High Court while urging the court to delay the opening of the report.

The Allahabad High Court had on December 19 dismissed several pleas from the Muslim side challenging the maintainability of a suit seeking restoration of a temple where the Gyanvapi mosque now stands in Varanasi.

“The trial in this case of vital national importance should be concluded as soon as possible, preferably within six months. If required, the lower court may direct ASI for a further survey,” the high court had observed.

Yadav on Thursday said that this high court order is likely to be put before Civil Judge Senior Division Fast Track Court of Varanasi on January 19.

The counsel for the ASI, Amit Srivastav, on Wednesday told the judge of the district court that the high court had also said in its order that, if necessary, the Civil Judge Senior Division Fast Track Court can order a survey of the Gyanvapi complex once again.

Therefore, if the survey report comes into the public domain now, a situation of contradiction may arise. Therefore, four weeks’ time should be given to open the survey report and make it available to the parties, the counsel had said.

During the hearing in the district court on Wednesday, the Hindu side referred to its application to the Supreme Court seeking permission to clean the mosque ‘wazu khana’ (used by people for ritual ablutions before offering namaz) as several fish have died there.

The Muslim side raised objection to this and said the ‘wazu khana’ is their property and they should be given the responsibility to clean it.

The Hindu side told the district court that the ‘wazu khana’ was sealed on the orders of the Supreme Court. The Hindu side also said that it should be cleaned either by them or the administration.

The matter is also likely to be taken up by the court on Saturday, Yadav said.

#Gyanvapi


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