Court grants four weeks to finish survey at Gyanvapi

The Supreme Court on August 4 refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order on the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque

Updated - August 06, 2023 12:46 am IST

Published - August 05, 2023 09:36 am IST

A team of the Archaeological Survey of India arrives at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi on August 5, 2023.

A team of the Archaeological Survey of India arrives at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi on August 5, 2023. | Photo Credit: PTI

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) team on Saturday resumed its scientific survey work at the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi to determine whether the 17th century mosque had been constructed over the pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

Some members of the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee accompanied the survey team. Earlier, the Muslim side to the case did not participate in the survey.

The survey continued on Friday amid tight security arrangements, a day after the Supreme Court upheld the Allahabad High Court order ruling that the proposed survey would benefit both sides. Strict security was also deployed en route to the complex, and no media person was allowed around the premises.

The ASI survey was requested by women plaintiffs seeking the worship of Shringar Gauri and other deities in the Gyanvapi compound. A district judge had ordered an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque on July 21, instructing the agency to submit its report by August 4.

In a related development, a Varanasi district court on Saturday granted the ASI four weeks time to complete its survey and submit a report. The court will hear the matter on September 2.

Amit Srivastava, standing counsel, Government of India, sought time for the ASI to conduct a scientific survey, arguing that immediately after the survey was ordered on July 21, it was halted by an order from the apex court.

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