Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute | Varanasi Court Demands Explanation From ASI for Seeking More Time to File Survey Report

The Varanasi district court on Wednesday asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to explain the reason for seeking an additional 3 weeks’ time to submit a scientific report pertaining to the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex.

The query was posed to a senior ASI official from Delhi by District Judge AK Vishvesha after the ASI earlier this week filed a plea seeking more time to submit its report stating that the ASI experts are working hard to cross-check, correlate and compile the findings of the survey undertaken by them. The Court has posted the matter for hearing today It may be noted that this is the 5th time since September 2 that the ASI has sought a time extension to file its survey report. Earlier, the Court had directed the ASI to submit its survey report by November 28.

It may further be noted that the ASl is presently conducting a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex in Varanasi as per the July 21 order of the Varanasi District Judge to determine if the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. The ASI has already surveyed the premises for around 30 days now.

On August 4, the Supreme Court refused to stop the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) from carrying out a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque at Varanasi, except the
‘wuzukhana’ area where a ‘shivling’ was claimed to have been found last year.

Taking on record an undertaking made on behalf of the ASI that no excavation would be done at the site and no damage will be caused to the structure, the Court had allowed the survey to take place.

The Court had ordered thus while disposing of a petition filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque at Varanasi) challenging Allahabad High Court order (of August 3) which permitted the ASI survey.

On July 21, Varanasi District Judge directed the Director of the
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a “scientific survey” of the Gyanvapi mosque premises except for the area that was sealed earlier (wuzukhana) to find out if the same has been built over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple. This order was upheld by the Allahabad HC on August 3.

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