VARANASI: The Muslim side on Tuesday moved Allahabad high court following the Supreme Court’s directive to halt the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) survey at Gyanvapi mosque premises till Wednesday, said TV reports.

The Supreme Court on Monday gave the directive to the ASI to stop till 5pm on Wednesday the conducting of a scientific survey/excavation to determine whether a temple existed on the site of the Gyanvapi mosque next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi to enable the Muslim side to appeal against the district court’s July 21 order.
The ASI had started its survey at Gyanvapi on Monday morning. The court asked petitioner Anjuman Intezamia Masjid to move the Allahabad high court and directed the HC registrar to ensure that the appeal is placed for hearing before an appropriate bench before expiry of the SC’s status quo order.

Gyanvapi mosque issue: Developments so far

  • August 2021: Plea filed before a Varanasi civil court by five Hindu devotees seeking permission to offer daily prayers at the Gyanvapi mosque.
  • April 8, 2022: Civil court orders a survey of the premises and appoints Ajay Kumar Mishra as in-charge of the exercise.
  • May 13, 2022: Supreme Court refuses interim order of status quo on the survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex.
  • May 17, 2022: SC passes interim order directing the district magistrate of Varanasi to ensure protection of the area inside the complex.
  • May 20, 2022: SC transfers the case from a civil judge to a district judge.
  • Oct 14, 2022: Varanasi district court rejects plea for carbon dating of the Shivling.
  • Nov 10, 2022: SC agrees to set up a bench to hear the case.
  • May 12, 2023: Allahabad High Court orders determination of the age of the Shivling using modern technology.
  • May 19, 2023: SC defers scientific survey to determine the age of Shivling.
  • July 21, 2023: Varanasi district court directs the ASI to conduct the survey — including excavations, wherever necessary — to determine if the mosque was built at a place where a temple existed earlier.
  • July 24, 2023: SC halts ASI’s survey at premises till 5 pm on July 26, asks HC to hear mosque panel’s plea.

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