HC resumes hearing mosque committee's appeal against ASI survey in Gyanvapi complex

HC resumes hearing mosque committee's appeal against ASI survey in Gyanvapi complex

Prayagraj (UP), Jul 26 (PTI) The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday resumed hearing a plea against a district court order directing the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi was built upon a temple.

After hearing arguments in the matter on Tuesday, Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker had posted it for further hearing on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the mosque, moved the high court, a day after the Supreme Court halted the ASI survey till 5 pm Wednesday, allowing time for the mosque management committee to appeal against the lower court's order.

The counsel for the committee, senior advocate SFA Naqvi, prayed for early hearing of the case before Chief Justice Diwaker stating that there is an urgency as the apex court's order will expire on Wednesday.

The Chief Justice said he will hear the matter if the parties have no objection.

Vishnu Shankar Jain, the counsel for the respondent (Hindu side), submitted that in the Ram Mandir case, a survey was conducted by the ASI and the same was accepted by the high court as well as the Supreme Court.     The mosque is located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi and Hindu litigants in the district court had sought the survey to determine whether a temple existed at the same spot earlier.     The Varanasi district court on Friday ordered the ASI to conduct a survey using technologies like ground penetrating radar and excavations, if necessary.     The apex court's Monday order to pause the survey came while the ASI team was inside the mosque complex.