In a setback to the Muslim side, the Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order allowing the the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey at the Gyanvapi mosque complex to determine if the 17th-century structure was built upon a pre-existing temple.
A bench comprising Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra asked the ASI not to take recourse to any invasive act during the survey.
The bench took note of the submissions of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the ASI and the Uttar Pradesh government, that no excavation will be carried out during the survey nor any destruction caused to the structure.
Varanasi court granted additional 4 weeks to ASI for completing survey
Earlier in the day a Varanasi court granted additional four weeks to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for completing the scientific survey on the Gyanvapi mosque that stands next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
Hearing a plea by the ASI, District Judge A K Vishvesha allowed it the additional time.
Representing the Hindu petitioners, advocate Madan Mohan Yadav, said the deadline for completing the survey has been extended till September 4 from August 4.
The ASI had put the survey exercise on hold on July 24 as the Allahabad High Court was hearing a petition against it. The ASI resumed the survey Friday morning after a go-ahead from the HC on August 3.
The Muslim side has, however, moved the Supreme Court against the HC order.