Gyanvapi ASI Survey Stay | Allahabad High Court Grants Last Opportunity To ASI's DG To File Affidavit, Imposes ₹10K Cost
In the ongoing hearing before the Allahabad High Court in connection with the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque dispute, the High Court today granted a last opportunity to the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India to file a personal affidavit sought by the HC in 10 days.
Taking note of the fact that the Civil Suit is pending before the Civil Court Varanasi since 1991, the Bench of Justice Prakash Padia also imposed a cost of Rupees 10K on her, to be deposited in the Legal Services Committee, Allahabad
Earlier, the High Court had asked the DG to file her reply by September 28, however, on that day, the Court was informed about the medical issues of the DG, therefore, the Court had asked the DG ASI to file her reply on or before October 18. Now, today also the affidavit could not be filed.
Further, the Counsel for the Archaeological Survey of India sought at least six weeks' time to file a counter affidavit, however, denying the request, the Court gave her 10 days time to her to file her affidavit.
Our readers may not that the High Court had sought affidavits had been sought from the central government and the state government last year as it stayed proceedings in the Kashi Vishwanath Mandir-Gyanvapi Masjid effectively suspending a controversial order of the Varanasi Court that had ordered an archaeological survey of the premises to determine whether a Hindu temple was partially razed to build the Gyanvapi mosque in the 17th century.
The Uttar Pradesh Government has already filed its affidavit stating that it has no significant role if the ASI survey is conducted as has to only deal with the law and order situation in this case.
The background of the case
Essentially, the Anjuman Intazamia Masazid, Varanasi has challenged (before the HC) the suit filed before the Varanasi Court by the Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar And 5 Others in the year 1991 claiming the restoration of the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque stands to Hindus.
The Anjuman Intezamiya Masajid Varanasi has also challenged the proceeding before the Varanasi court in which an ASI survey had been ordered last year, the High Court stayed that very order last year in September.
Earlier, the contesting respondents argued before the Court that the petitioner [Anjuman Intazamia Masazid, Varanasi] had initially filed an application under Order VII Rule 11(d) CPC for rejecting the plaint (of the Ancient Idol Of Swayambhu Lord Vishweshwar) however, they did not press the same for a considerable time and instead of pressing the aforesaid application, they chose to file written statement in the plaint.
It was further argued by the counsel for the respondent that on the basis of pleadings in the suit, the issues were framed by the Varanasi Court. The Counsel also submitted that the property in question, i.e. the temple of Lord Visheshwar has been in existence from ancient times, i.e., Satyug up till now.
It was his further submission that the Swayambhu Lord Visheshwar is situated in the disputed structure, and therefore, the land in dispute is itself an integral part of Lord Visheshwar.
On the argument put forth by the Majid committee that since the plaint was barred by the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, the same should be rejected, the respondents have argued that the religious character of the place of worship remained the same as on the day of August 15, 1947, therefore, the provisions of Place of Worship Act, 1991 cannot be applied.
Counsel for Petitioner:- A.P.Sahai,A.K. Rai,D.K.Singh,G.K.Singh,M.A. Qadeer,S.I.Siddiqui,Syed Ahmed Faizan,Tahira Kazmi,V.K. Singh,Vishnu Kumar Singh
Counsel for Respondent:- C.S.C.,A.P.Srivastava,Ajay Kumar Singh,Ashish Kr.Singh,Bakhteyar Yusuf,Hare Ram,Prabhash Pandey,R.S.Maurya,Rakesh Kumar Singh,V.K.S.Chaudhary,Vineet Pandey,Vineet Sankalp
Case title - Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi v. Ist A.D.J. Varanasi And Others [MATTERS UNDER ARTICLE 227 No. - 3341 of 2017]
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