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Gyanvapi Case: Setback For Hindu Petitioners As SC Stays Varanasi Court Order


The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey to ascertain if the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, which is next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple, was built upon a temple has been halted by the Supreme Court. The supreme court has suspended the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex until 5 p.m. on July 26.


According to the supreme court, the Allahabad High Court’s order will be enacted on July 26. The SC instructed the mosque committee to go to the Allahabad High Court.

Senior attorney Huzefa Ahmadi appeared in court on behalf of the mosque committee, and a bench presided over by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud took notice of his arguments. The bench postponed the implementation of the ruling till Wednesday evening and instructed the committee to file an appeal in the interim.


On Supreme Court’s order, Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side in the Gyanvapi mosque case, says, “The SC has passed a stay on the execution of the order of the Varanasi court on a survey of the Mosque complex to allow the Anjum to challenge the same before the High Court…Our legal team is reaching High Court, and we will oppose this. The truth of Gyanvapi will only come out after the survey of ASI. The High Court will decide the matter unaffected by any observations of the Supreme Court; Allahabad HC will decide the matter on its own merit”

“We will abide by the court order,” DM Varanasi said after Supreme Court’s order.

SC had instructed ASI to postpone digging until today at 11:15 AM. SG Tushar Mehta has been requested to return at 11:15 to discuss the surveying techniques used by ASI. According to PTI, the top court instructed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, defending the Uttar Pradesh government, to advise the ASI team that there should be no excavation or “invasive work” at the site.


Image Source: The Times of India

SG said, “Not a brick has been removed, nor is it planned to be removed. Right now, what is going on is measurement, photography, and radar, which will not affect the structure.”

The ASI team arrived at the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi this morning to conduct a scientific examination of the mosque complex, which is close to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

On Friday, Varanasi Court issued orders for an ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex, except for the sealed “Wazukhana” portion.

History Of The Gyanvapi Case:

Hearings in the civil court started in June 1997. The Places of Worship Act declared the lawsuit to be summarily banned four months later. The plaintiff and the defendants each filed three revision petitions before the combined district court, and the civil court was instructed to retry the case after considering all the available information. The Allahabad High Court issued an injunction in October 1998 suspending the proceedings after the mosque management committee successfully contested this allowance there.


After 22 years in limbo, the Civil court reopened the case after the petitioners cited an SCI ruling from 2018 that stated that judicial stays only last for six months unless specifically extended. The petitioners then asked for an ASI survey to find evidence supporting them.

Also Read: Gyanvapi Debate: Court Orders To Complete Video Survey Till May 17

The High Court issued a further stay and reserved ruling on the merits of whether having such a trial would be prohibited under the PoW Act after AIM filed a petition opposing the very resumption of the problem. However, the proposal for a survey was approved in April 2021, and a five-member team of archaeologists was formed, including two representatives of the Muslim community, to find out whether there was ever a temple there before the mosque.

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