Allahabad High Court stops ASI survey of Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi

Prayagraj, 09 September: The Allahabad High Court today stayed the next process in the case filed by the temple in the Varanasi Civil Court regarding the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi Masjid dispute.

This order of the High Court has now put a stay on the order passed by the lower court on April 8, by which the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) was directed to conduct a survey in the temple premises. Earlier the civil court had ordered an ASI survey to investigate the mosque premises.

This order was passed by Justice Prakash Padia on a petition filed by UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and Masjid Committee seeking a stay on the survey.

Accepting the petition, passing an interim order, the High Court has sought a response from the Government of India (GOI), the State Government and the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust in three weeks. The court will now hear these petitions finally on October 8 2021.

The court had reserved the decision after hearing in the Allahabad High Court regarding the famous Kashi Vishwanath temple-mosque dispute.

The court in its judgement has also made a serious comment on the order passed by the lower court of Varanasi and considered this order against the judicial tradition.

The High Court had earlier stayed the further process of the suit filed by the temple trust in this case. But after a decision of the Supreme Court that the interim order passed in any court would be deemed to have expired after 6 months, on the basis of such a decision, the lower court started the process of hearing in the case and ordered ASI survey which was challenged in the High Court.

According to the petition, after the coming of the Right to Worship Act, 1991, the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust filed a suit in the Civil Court of Varanasi in the demand of handing over the possession of the entire land by removing the Waqf Masjid Shahi Alamgiri from the temple land.

The admissibility of the case has been objected to by the mosque. The Civil Court had asked to present the case while making the point.

On the revision petition against this, the lower court partially accepted that the preliminary objection would be disposed of after taking the evidence. Both these orders have been challenged in the High Court.

The Sunni Central Waqf Board applied to be a party. It has been revoked. He too has been challenged.

The petitioner says that the civil suit is not maintainable after the implementation of the Right to Worship Act. Therefore the case should be dismissed. It was told from the side of the temple that the entire land belongs to the temple. Idols are worshiped all around. Aurangzeb broke the temple and built a mosque from the rubble. Illegal construction should be removed from the temple and the condition of the temple should be restored.

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