Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday heard a plea against a district court order directing the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey to determine if the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi was built upon a temple. Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker posted the matter for further hearing on Wednesday.
August 28 for delivery of judgement on another petition
The high court also fixed August 28 for delivery of judgement on another petition challenging maintainability of a civil suit before a Varanasi court seeking the restoration of a temple at the site where the Gyanvapi mosque is situated. The judgement was reserved by Justice Prakash Padia on the petition filed by UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and others.
Earlier, on Monday, Rakhi Singh, a petitioner from the Hindu side, had filed a caveat petition in the case in the High Court on the order of Varanasi Court directing a survey of the sealed area on the mosque complex by ASI. Singh urged the Allahabad High Court not to give its judgment without hearing the petitioner should the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee approach it challenging the July 21 order of the Varanasi court.
On Tuesday, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, which manages the mosque, moved the high court, a day after the Supreme Court halted the ASI survey till 5 pm Wednesday, allowing time for the mosque management committee to appeal against the lower court's order.
The counsel for the committee, senior advocate SFA Naqvi, prayed for early hearing of the case before Chief Justice Diwaker stating that there is an urgency as the apex court's Monday order will expire on Wednesday.
On this, the chief justice said that if parties have no objection, then he himself can hear this matter. As the counsels for the parties agreed to the same, the court started hearing the matter.
Naqvi requested the court to set aside the July 21 order of the Varanasi district court on the grounds that the district court had acted in urgency and directed the ASI to conduct the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises and submit its report by August 4. Thus, the petitioner did not have sufficient time to challenge its order before the appropriate forum, he said.
The district court had passed the impugned order of ASI survey even without impleading ASI as a party to the suit.
Vishnu Shankar Jain, the counsel for the respondent (Hindu side), submitted that in the Ram Mandir case, a survey was conducted by the ASI and the same was accepted by the high court as well as the Supreme Court. Thus the order passed by the court below was just and proper, he said.