Kashi Vishwanath Mandi-Gyanvapi Masjid case: Sunni Waqf Board moves Allahabad HC against Varanasi Court order on ASI survey

Lucknow: On Tuesday, the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board moved an urgent petition before the Allahabad High Court in the Kashi Vishwanath Mandi-Gyanvapi Masjid case.

Earlier, the trial court at Varanasi allowed an ASI study of the mosque on April 8.

Sunni Central Waqf Board's standing counsel Puneet Kumar Gupta argued that the trial court passed the order illegally and without its jurisdiction as the matter is in the high court and Justice Prakash Pandia reserved its order on March 15 this year.

On Monday, the management committee of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi had filed an urgent petition in the Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on the operation of April 8 order of a local court allowing ground penetrating radar (GPR) mapping by a five-member committee, led by the ASI.

The counsel for the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee of Gyanvapi mosque SFA Naqvi said that the order was passed illegally as it was out of local court’s jurisdiction.

“High Court has yet to deliver its judgment on the maintainability of the case pending at the local Varanasi court. How could the local court pass an order without waiting for the outcome of the HC verdict?” questioned the Counsel.

The Counsel further said that the local court also ignored the applicability of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and Order 7 Rule 11D of the CPC while passing the order.

“The 1991 Act had dismissed all petitions seeking to reclaim any place of worship in independent India, except Ayodhya,” he pointed out.

The Civil Judge Senior Division Fast Track Court Ashutosh Tiwari had passed an order on April 8 for the formation of a five-member committee comprising two Hindus, two Muslims and an archaeologist.

It had directed the ASI for ground penetrating radar (GPR) mapping of the Gyanvapi mosque complex to check if any structure existed below the mosque. The petitioner Vijay Shanker Rastogi had contended that Gyanvapi mosque is a part of Baba Kashi Vishwanath temple.

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