Gyanvapi ASI Survey Stay |Court Gives ASI’S DG Last Chance To File Affidavit, Charges Rs. 10,000: Allahabad High Court

In the case of Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi v. Ist A.D.J. Varanasi And Others [MATTERS UNDER ARTICLE 227 No.- 3341 of 2017], the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India has been given one final chance to file a personal affidavit as part of the current case before the Allahabad High Court over the Kashi Vishwanath temple Gyanvapi mosque dispute. The Bench of Justice Prakash Padia further imposed a fee of Rupees 10,000 on her, to be deposited in the Legal Services Committee, Allahabad, taking into consideration that the Civil Suit has been ongoing before the Civil Court Varanasi since 1991.

Facts: In the year the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque stands was returned to Hindus, Varanasi Court was visited by the ancient idol of Swayambhu, Lord Vishweshwar, and five other deities. The High Court delayed that exact decision last year in September. The Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Varanasi has also contested the Varanasi court hearing in which an ASI survey was ordered last year. The petitioner [Anjuman Intazamia Masazid. Varanasi] initially filed an application under Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC for rejecting the plaint (of the Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar), the contesting respondents argued before the court earlier. However, they did not press the same for a significant amount of time and instead, they chose to file a written statement in the plaint. The respondent’s attorney additionally contended that the Varanasi Court had framed the issues based on the lawsuit’s pleadings. The defence attorney also claimed that the disputed property, specifically the Visheshwar temple, has been around since the Satyug era.

Judgement: Earlier, the High Court had instructed the DG to submit her response by September 28; however, on that day, the Court was told of the DG’s medical concerns, therefore the Court instructed the DG ASI to submit her response by October 18 at the latest. Now, the affidavit could not be submitted today either. Additionally, the attorney for the Archaeological Survey of India requested at least six weeks to prepare a counter affidavit; however, the court denied the request and gave the attorney 10 days to prepare her affidavit. For reasons that may not be clear to our readers, the Varanasi Court’s controversial order to conduct an archaeological survey of the site to determine whether a Hindu temple was partially demolished to construct the Gyanvapi mosque in the 17th century was effectively suspended when the High Court stayed proceedings in the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir-Gyanvapi Masjid last year. The Uttar Pradesh Government has previously submitted an affidavit declaring that it will play no important role in the ASI survey and will solely be responsible for maintaining peace and order in this situation. In essence, the Varanasi-based Anjuman Intazamia Masazid has challenged He further argued that because the disputed building contains the Swayambhu Lord Visheshwar, Lord Visheshwar is an intrinsic element of the land in question. The respondents have argued that because the religious character of the place of worship remained the same as it was on August 15, 1947, the provisions of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, cannot be applied, refuting the Majid committee’s argument that the plaint should be rejected because it was barred by the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

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