New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday stayed the proceedings before a Varanasi lower court in the land dispute case of Gyanvapi Mosque and Kashi Vishwanath Temple. Calling the proceedings prima facie bad in law, the court also stayed the lower court’s order which allowed a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
Single judge Justice Prakash Padia observed that the proceedings before lower court were prima facie bad in law, as the high court was already seized of an issue relating to the dispute and had reserved its judgment on the same.
On April 8, 2021, Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ashutosh Tiwari of Varanasi Civil Court issued a judgement enabling ASI survey.
The contention before the local court was that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had demolished a piece of the 2000-year-old Kashi Vishwanath Temple to establish the Gyanvapi Mosque there in 1669, and that the land on which the Gyanvapi Mosque is built should be returned to Hindus. The Gyanvyapi Mosque Management Committee had opposed against the suit.
However, the Varanasi court had ordered an ASI study, following which a petition was filed in the High Court challenging the Varanasi court’s decision.
Senior Advocate SFA Naqvi, along with Advocates Ahmed Faizan and Punit Gupta, filed the plea, claiming that the Varanasi court had authorised the ASI survey despite the Allahabad High Court having reserved its decision on the suit’s maintainability before the Varanasi court.
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