Gyanvapi Case: Allahabad HC to Announce ASI Survey Verdict Today
Gyanvapi Case: Allahabad HC to Announce ASI Survey Verdict Today

Prayagraj: Today, August 3, the Allahabad High Court is set to announce its judgment on the survey conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi. The survey excluded the Wazukhana, which contains a structure claimed to be a Shivling.

On a related note, a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) was filed in the Allahabad High Court requesting the sealing of plot number 9130 within the Gyanvapi campus. The petitioner argues that the entry of non-Hindus should be banned to protect the symbols discovered during the survey (Trident, Lotus, and Swastika) from harm.

Advocate Saurabh Tiwari, representing the petitioner, stated, "A PIL has been filed in Allahabad High Court demanding that plot number 9130 in the Gyanvapi campus should be sealed. According to it, the entry of non-Hindus is also banned so that the symbols found in the survey (Trident, Lotus, and Swastika) should not be harmed."

Previously, the Allahabad High Court had instructed the ASI not to proceed with the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi while the matter was under consideration. This decision came after the Supreme Court had put a hold on the detailed scientific survey by the ASI until 5 pm on July 26, to determine if the mosque was built upon a temple next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi.

The court had responded to a plea against a district court order directing the ASI to conduct the controversial survey. The Supreme Court had inadvertently disposed of an appeal by the committee questioning the maintainability of a suit by Hindus seeking worship rights inside the mosque.

While granting interim relief by staying the ASI survey, the Supreme Court disposed of the main case on July 24. The mosque committee had filed an interim plea in the pending petition, seeking a stay on the ASI's work.

On July 21, the Varanasi district judge had ordered the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi complex, following an application by four Hindu women on May 16, 2023. However, the order excluded the ablution pond area, which had already been sealed by order of the top court.

Previously, on May 12, the Allahabad High Court had allowed a scientific survey of the 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, 2022, during a court-mandated survey of the mosque situated next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The High Court had earlier set aside the Varanasi District judge's order, which had rejected the application for a scientific survey and carbon dating of the "Shivling" on October 14, 2022. Instead, the High Court directed the Varanasi District judge to proceed, following the 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 lower court's order.

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