The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed its verdict against the Varanasi district court's order directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey of the Gyanvapi mosque till August 3 and extended the interim order till August 3.
Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker is hearing a plea filed by the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi, challenging the Varanasi District Court's order to conduct an ASI survey at the Gyanvapi Masjid.
The hearing in the case remained inconclusive on Wednesday and the High Court extended the stay on the ASI probe till July 27. The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the order of the Varanasi district court, delivered by 5:00 pm on Friday, July 26, after the Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi, approached the apex court directly against the order of the Varanasi district court.
The Supreme Court stayed the Varanasi district court's order till July 26 to give time to the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee to challenge the district court's order in the Allahabad High Court. The Masjid Committee challenged the district court's order in the High Court on Tuesday.
During Thursday's hearing, Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the Hindu party in the Supreme Court, said that the temple of news, built by Ahilyabai Holkar, exists next to the Gyanvapi mosque and the old temple was converted into a mosque by Aurangzeb, but he could not do it completely. Jain further said that Sanskrit shlokas, old Jyotirlinga, Hindu artefacts are present in the Gyanvapi premises and that Hindu devotees have also provided a photograph of the west wall along with the application.
The counsel for the Hindu worshipers told the court that the ASI Survey was necessary as the Anjuman Masjid said the said structure was based on imagination and had nothing to do with ground reality. They say that the mosque has never been owned by anyone other than Muslims since its inception, the consultant argued.
The Masjid Committee's counsel argued on Thursday that the Hindu worshipers had admitted that they had no evidence and the court could not be used to gather evidence on behalf of a litigant who had no evidence.