The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday (September 28) extended the stay till October 31 on a Varanasi court order directing the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey at the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex and further proceedings in this case.
After hearing from the parties, Justice Prakash Padia set October 18 as the next hearing date in the case, reported NDTV.
Petition Questioned Viability Of The Original Suit
The high court on August 30 had extended the interim stay till September 30 on the Varanasi court's order dated April 8, 2021.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, Varanasi's Gyanvapi mosque management committee, had filed a petition in the Varanasi district court challenging the maintainability of an original suit filed in 1991.
As per NDTV, the original lawsuit called for the restoration of the historic Kashi Vishwanath Temple on the site of the Gyanvapi Mosque. The petitioners stated in their case that the mosque is a piece of the temple.
What Did The Court Observe?
Justice Padia, on September 12, directed ASI's director general to file his personal affidavit in the case within ten days, citing the government agency's "very sketchy" counter-affidavit and the matter's "national importance."
According to the order dated September 12, an affidavit was filed along with an application for exemption by Abinash Mohanty, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI Varanasi, as the director general was unfit and unable to file his personal affidavit.
However, the court noted, "Since the matter is of national importance and fact that the suit is pending before the trial court since 1991, this court hopes and trusts that the Director General, ASI, New Delhi, will comply with the order dated September 12, 2022, in its letter and spirit, on or before the next date fixed in the matter."
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