Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of the Gyanvapi mosque

Gyanvapi: Caveat Filed In Allahabad HC Over Direction For ASI Survey

Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) of the Gyanvapi mosque

A caveat petition in the Gyanvapi case was filed by Rakhi Singh, a petitioner from the Hindu side, in the Allahabad High Court on Monday,  on the order of Varanasi Court directing a survey of the sealed area on the mosque complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The caveat petition was filed through advocate Saurabh Tiwari through the e-filing mode.
Also the main petitioner in the Shringar Gauri Sthal case, Rakhi Singh also came out in support of the ASI survey at the Gyanvapi mosque complex.

In her caveat, Rakhi urged the Allahabad High Court not to give its judgment without hearing the petitioner should the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee approach it challenging the July 21 order of the Varanasi court.

“It is therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to allow the application and may provide the opportunity of hearing before passing any order in favour of proposed Petitioner(s)/revisionist(s) and/or pass such other and further order , which this Hon’ble Court may deem fit and proper,” the caveat read.

Earlier, on Saturday, Rakhi Singh had filed a similar caveat in the matter.

On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered that Varanasi district court order of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, adjacent to Kashi Vishwanath temples, shall not be enforced till 5 pm of July 26.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud says that in the meantime mosque committee shall move the Allahabad High Court with its plea against the district court’s order.

The bench said the order was passed to give some breathing time to the Muslim side to approach the Allahabad High Court.

Gyanvapi mosque management committee, Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, mentioned the matter before the CJI seeking a stay on the July 21 order of the district court.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi sought a stay on the ASI survey of the mosque complex saying the top court had earlier stayed the carbon dating of the structure, claimed as “shivling” by the Hindi side, found in the ablution pond of the mosque during a court-mandated survey in May 2022.

“What is the tearing hurry, this place has been a mosque since the 1500s? there must be status quo order,” Ahmadi asked the bench.

During the hearing the apex court recorded the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for Uttar Pradesh government, saying it appears ASI is not carrying out any excavation as ordered by the district court and no excavation is contemplated for a week.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the Hindi side, opposed a stay request of Muslim side saying let there should be exercise of caution on the issue and it must go to the High Court.

The Solicitor General has already said no excavations will be carried out, he said, adding that court is seized of the matter and when status quo order is made by Supreme Court it continues indefinitely.

On Friday, Varanasi district judge AK Vishvesha ordered the ASI survey of Gyanvapi complex on an application moved by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023.

The order of the district judge, however, excluded the ablution pond area of the complex, which has been sealed on the order of the top court.

On May 12 this year, the Allahabad High Court had allowed the scientific survey of this purported “shivling” but the top court stayed this order on May 19.

During the survey, a structure — claimed to be a “Shivling” by the Hindu side and a “fountain” by the Muslim side — was found in the mosque premises on May 16 last year during a court-mandated survey of the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The High Court on May 12 set aside the Varanasi District judge order which had rejected the application for a scientific survey and carbon dating of the “Shivling” on October 14, 2022.

The High Court had directed the Varanasi District judge to proceed, in accordance with law, on the application by the Hindu worshippers for conducting a scientific probe of the “Shivling”.

Petitioners Laxmi Devi and three others had filed a plea in the High Court, challenging the order lower court order. (ANI)

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