Allahabad HC Stays ASI survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque

The judge said that the proceedings before lower court were prima facie bad in law, as the High Court had reserved its judgment on the same issue

The Allahabad High Court has stayed the proceedings before a Varanasi lower court in the Gyanvapi-Kashi land dispute case, including the order which allowed a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

Single judge Justice Prakash Padia said that the proceedings before lower court were prima facie bad in law, as the High Court was already seized of an issue relating to the dispute and had reserved its judgment on the same.

The order allowing ASI survey was passed by Civil Judge (Senior Division) at Varanasi Civil Court, Ashutosh Tiwari on April 8, 2021.

The plea before the local court had demanded the restoration of the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque is located to Hindus on claims that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had pulled down a portion of the 2000-year-old Kashi Vishwanath Temple to build the Gyanvyapi Mosque there in 1669. The suit was opposed by the Gyanvyapi Mosque Management Committee.

The Varanasi court had, however, ordered an ASI study.

Subsequently, a plea was filed before the High Court challenging the order of the Varanasi court.

The petition was moved by Senior Advocate SFA Naqvi, assisted by Advocates Ahmed Faizan and Punit Gupta, contending that the Varanasi court had allowed the ASI survey, despite the fact that the Allahabad High Court had already reserved its judgement on the maintainability of the suit before the Varanasi court.

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