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Allahabad HC Stays ASI Probe Order Into Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute

Varanasi court had ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey to ascertain if any temple ever existed in place of the mosque.

Varanasi court had ordered the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey to ascertain if any temple ever existed in place of the mosque.

The high court on August 31 had reserved its verdict on pleas against the district court's order.

The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the order passed by the District Court for an “archaeological survey” of the Kashi Vishwanath temple- Gyanvapi mosque complex. A petition in the high court had challenged the district court order allowing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a survey to ascertain if any temple ever existed in place of the mosque.

A Varanasi fast-track court of senior division civil judge had on April 8 ordered a five-member ASI team to conduct a “comprehensive physical survey” of the complex of the two shrines to determine if any temple was demolished to build the mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishvanath temple. The subordinate court had also stipulated that at least two members of the five-member ASI team of eminent archaeologists should be from the minority community.

The high court on August 31 had reserved its verdict on pleas against the district court’s order. The order had been challenged by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and Varanasi’s Anjuman Intazamia Masjid.

The petitioners’ counsel had earlier contended that the Varanasi court’s order was “not legally tenable” because the very suit on which the lower court gave its order was non-maintainable.

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first published:September 09, 2021, 16:11 IST