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Allahabad High Court to pronounce order on ASI survey of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque on Aug 3

The Kashi Vishwanath temple and the disputed Gyanvapi mosque (Photo: ANI)

There will be no survey at Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque till August 3, when the final order on the matter will be pronounced, the Allahabad High Court said today.

“Verdict to be pronounced on August 3. Interim order to continue till August 3,” Hindu side lawyer of the Gyanvapi mosque case Vishnu Shankar Jain told reporters in Delhi.

On Wednesday, the Allahabad High Court asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to not start the survey of Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi as the hearing on the matter is underway.

The court was hearing a plea against a district court order directing the ASI to conduct the controversial survey.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday corrected it’s order in the Gyanvapi mosque case whereby on July 24 it inadvertently disposed of an appeal of the mosque committee questioning maintainability of a suit by Hindus in the trial court seeking worship rights inside the mosque.

While granting the relief on the interim plea by staying the ASI survey, the top court disposed of the main case on July 24.

On July 24, the top court put on hold till 5 pm July 26 a detailed scientific survey by the ASI to determine if the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi was built upon a temple.

On Monday, the mosque committee moved the top court with its interim plea in the pending petition seeking stay of ASI work.

On July 21, 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.