Published On: Mon, Jul 24th, 2023

SC’s ‘breathing time’ to Muslim side on Gyanvapi survey

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to not conduct till July 26 any “detailed scientific survey” on the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi and directed the Muslim petitioners to approach the Allahabad High Court for remedies.

What we can do is, let there be no invasive work carried out

The Supreme Court order came after petitioners from the mosque management committee filed a plea, seeking a stay on a Varanasi district court’s order for an ASI survey of the mosque to find out if it was built on a pre-existing temple.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud said the court gave some “breathing time” to the Gyanvapi mosque management committee to challenge the ASI order of the Varanasi court before the Allahabad High Court.

The Supreme Court ordered Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the Uttar Pradesh government, to communicate its order to the ASI, which had sent a 30-member team to conduct the survey on the mosque premises today.

Senior counsel Huzefa Ahmadi, appearing for the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, said there should be a stay on the district court’s order regarding the ASI survey on the structure’s premises.

“There is an order that was passed almost two years ago specifically against an ASI survey. Now, this order was passed on a Friday (July 21),” said Ahmadi.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta took instructions and informed the bench that the ASI was conducting photography and radar-imaging at the site and presently, no invasive or excavation work was underway.

“What we can do is, let there be no invasive work carried out,” said CJI DY Chandrachud.


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