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ASI gets till Dec 18 to submit Gyanvapi survey report

Varanasi District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha has given one more week to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and asked the agency to file the report of its scientific study and survey of the Gyanvapi mosque on December 18.

This is the seventh extension granted to the ASI by the District Judge’s court to complete the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque to ascertain whether it stands atop a temple.

On Monday, standing government counsel (Government of India) Amit Srivastava had moved an application before the court mentioning that due to ill health, the ASI’s Superintending Archaeologist Avinash Mohanty, who had to submit the report, was unable to appear before the court.

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Through this application, the ASI sought a week’s time to submit the report. On November 30, while granting an extension for the sixth time for 10 days to the ASI, the District Judge asked the agency to positively file the report in the given time and not seek any more extensions.

On July 21, the court ordered an ASI survey on the plea of four women plaintiffs in Suit No. 18/2022. In compliance with this order, the ASI started a scientific study of the Gyanvapi mosque on July 24, however, the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid (AIM) filed a revision before the Allahabad High Court.

On the order of the High Court, the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque was halted on July 24. The HC dismissed the objection of the AIM against the District Judge’s court order on August 3.

After this, the AIM appealed to the Supreme Court against the HC’s order. The Apex Court refused to stop the ASI survey after which the ASI resumed the survey from August 4. As the ASI’s survey could not be completed by August 4, it sought an extension thrice on August 5, September 8, and October 5. After the end of the study and survey at the Gyanvapi mosque, the ASI on November 2 and 17 had moved pleas for another extension before it sought another extension of three weeks on November 28 to finalize the report by mentioning technical reasons consuming time and delaying the process.

After going through the ASI’s November 28 application for a sixth extension, the District Judge, in his November 30, order mentioned, “After taking into consideration, the facts mentioned in the application and circumstances of the case, I find it proper to grant 10 days more to the ASI to file the report in the court. This court expects that within the provided time, the ASI shall positively file the report and will not seek further time.” With these strict remarks, the District Judge had fixed December 11 for the hearing and disposal of the survey report.

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