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Gyan Vapi case: Allahabad HC reserves judgment on appeal against ASI survey

A Varanasi court had ordered a survey of the Gyan Vapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple complex, leading the Sunni Board and mosque authorities to move HC against the order

Sabrangindia 02 Sep 2021

Gyan vapiImage: PTI


The Allahabad High Court, has reserved judgment in a matter surrounding a survey to be conducted by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) at the site where the Kashi Vishwanath Temple stands alongside the Gyan Vapi mosque in Varanasi. The judgment is likely to be passed on September 9 at 2 P.M.

On April 8, 2021, a Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ashutosh Tiwari allowed ASI to conduct a survey, the cost of which is to be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. The order was passed in connection with a plea filed by local lawyer VS Rastogi in December 2019, who demanded that the land upon which the mosque was constructed be returned to Hindus.

The permission for an ASI survey brought back memories of a similar survey that was carried out in connection with the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. The order was also seen as controversial because the Allahabad High Court had reserved its judgment in the wider case.

Speaking to SabrangIndia, S M Yasin, general secretary of Masjid (AIM) explained, “Between January 18 and March 12 arguments were on in the High Court in connection with the stay order case by all parties including the Sunni Central Board and the Anjuman Intazamia Masjid. The judgment was reserved and was expected after April 5, but there was a lockdown due to Covid,” he explained. “On April 6, we moved another application before the High Court requesting that the lower court be restrained from delivering any order in the case while the High Court judgement remained reserved and this application was to be heard on April 9. But the hearing could not take place, perhaps due to Covid. Meanwhile, the lower court went ahead and passed its order,” he said.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board then moved an urgent petition before the Allahabad High Court against the order of the trial court. The Waqf Board’s 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.

AIM also moved an application, contending that the Civil Judge acted in the “most arbitrary manner” while passing the order to allow the ASI for undertaking a survey at the disputed site and has acted against the spirit of judicial discipline. The application states that by passing orders despite the High Court reserving judgment in the case, the lower court acted “against the spirit of complete justice as well as the challenge to the entire suit proceeding and its authenticity.”

They had also moved an application before the lower court, but withdrew the application when their appeal wasn’t admitted, even three months after the original order. “Our appeal hadn’t even been admitted by the lower court yet, even though three months had gone by. Meanwhile, one hearing took place in the Allahabad High Court after we filed an appeal there in July. But we were told the same appeal cannot be pursued in two courts, so we decided to withdraw the appeal from the lower court,” explained Yasin.

 

Related:

Gyan Vapi case: Mosque administration to pursue appeal against ASI survey in HC

Gyan Vapi mosque and Kashi Vishwanath temple exchange land

Gyanvapi case: Pleas before Allahabad HC challenging ASI survey order

Years after Ramjanmabhoomi, ASI to survey Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath complex

Gyan Vapi case: New petition admitted, notice issued

Gyan Vapi well becomes part of Kashi-Vishwanath temple

Gyan Vapi mosque case: Suit filed in Varanasi court for restoration of temple

Gyan Vapi case: Allahabad HC reserves judgment on appeal against ASI survey

A Varanasi court had ordered a survey of the Gyan Vapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple complex, leading the Sunni Board and mosque authorities to move HC against the order

Gyan vapiImage: PTI


The Allahabad High Court, has reserved judgment in a matter surrounding a survey to be conducted by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) at the site where the Kashi Vishwanath Temple stands alongside the Gyan Vapi mosque in Varanasi. The judgment is likely to be passed on September 9 at 2 P.M.

On April 8, 2021, a Varanasi civil judge (senior division) Ashutosh Tiwari allowed ASI to conduct a survey, the cost of which is to be borne by the Uttar Pradesh government. The order was passed in connection with a plea filed by local lawyer VS Rastogi in December 2019, who demanded that the land upon which the mosque was constructed be returned to Hindus.

The permission for an ASI survey brought back memories of a similar survey that was carried out in connection with the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute. The order was also seen as controversial because the Allahabad High Court had reserved its judgment in the wider case.

Speaking to SabrangIndia, S M Yasin, general secretary of Masjid (AIM) explained, “Between January 18 and March 12 arguments were on in the High Court in connection with the stay order case by all parties including the Sunni Central Board and the Anjuman Intazamia Masjid. The judgment was reserved and was expected after April 5, but there was a lockdown due to Covid,” he explained. “On April 6, we moved another application before the High Court requesting that the lower court be restrained from delivering any order in the case while the High Court judgement remained reserved and this application was to be heard on April 9. But the hearing could not take place, perhaps due to Covid. Meanwhile, the lower court went ahead and passed its order,” he said.

The Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board then moved an urgent petition before the Allahabad High Court against the order of the trial court. The Waqf Board’s 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.

AIM also moved an application, contending that the Civil Judge acted in the “most arbitrary manner” while passing the order to allow the ASI for undertaking a survey at the disputed site and has acted against the spirit of judicial discipline. The application states that by passing orders despite the High Court reserving judgment in the case, the lower court acted “against the spirit of complete justice as well as the challenge to the entire suit proceeding and its authenticity.”

They had also moved an application before the lower court, but withdrew the application when their appeal wasn’t admitted, even three months after the original order. “Our appeal hadn’t even been admitted by the lower court yet, even though three months had gone by. Meanwhile, one hearing took place in the Allahabad High Court after we filed an appeal there in July. But we were told the same appeal cannot be pursued in two courts, so we decided to withdraw the appeal from the lower court,” explained Yasin.

 

Related:

Gyan Vapi case: Mosque administration to pursue appeal against ASI survey in HC

Gyan Vapi mosque and Kashi Vishwanath temple exchange land

Gyanvapi case: Pleas before Allahabad HC challenging ASI survey order

Years after Ramjanmabhoomi, ASI to survey Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath complex

Gyan Vapi case: New petition admitted, notice issued

Gyan Vapi well becomes part of Kashi-Vishwanath temple

Gyan Vapi mosque case: Suit filed in Varanasi court for restoration of temple

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