HomeLawSupreme Court Rejects Stay on Gyanvapi Mosque Survey: Non-Invasive Methods to be...

Supreme Court Rejects Stay on Gyanvapi Mosque Survey: Non-Invasive Methods to be Used

New Delhi, August 4, 2023 – In a noteworthy decision, the Supreme Court has declined to impose a stay on the Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque.

The top court bench, consisting of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices Manoj Misra and JB Pardiwala, emphasized the use of non-invasive techniques in the survey. The bench explicitly stated that the survey should utilize only non-invasive methods without causing any excavation or structural harm.

Varanasi District Court’s Orders Upheld

The apex court bench expressed confidence in the orders issued by the Varanasi district court and found no fault with their rulings.

Confidentiality Request Denied

The Supreme Court rejected the request from the Gyanvapi mosque management committee to keep the survey report confidential until the court determines the maintainability of the suit filed by the Hindu plaintiffs.

Assurance from ASI and UP Government

The Supreme Court acknowledged the submissions made by the ASI and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who represented both the ASI and the Uttar Pradesh government. The ASI assured that the survey would not involve any excavation or damage to the site’s structure.

Controversy Over Survey

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the mosque management committee, raised concerns about the survey’s implications. He contended that the survey amounts to “digging into history,” violating the Places of Worship Act and infringing upon principles of fraternity and secularism.

Court’s Response and Future Steps

The bench, however, reminded the committee that their objections could be addressed during the ongoing hearing process. The bench noted that objections cannot be raised against every interlocutory order on the same grounds and that these concerns would be addressed during the course of the hearing.

AIMC’s Challenge and ASI’s Resumption

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (AIMC), responsible for mosque management, had approached the Supreme Court to challenge the ASI survey. They contested the Allahabad High Court’s decision to permit the survey.

The Supreme Court’s announcement coincided with the ASI’s resumption of the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises. The primary objective of the survey is to ascertain whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed atop a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

Disclaimer: This article provides an overview of recent developments regarding the Gyanvapi Mosque survey as per the Supreme Court’s decision. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official stance of the publication.

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