The Allahabad High Court stayed the Varanasi lower court order, directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a comprehensive physical survey of the Gyanvapi mosque compound adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi.
The single bench headed by Justice Prakash Padia said that the Varanasi court should not have proceeded with the application filed for survey by ASI as the verdict in the petitions was still pending before the High Court.
A Varanasi fast-track court of senior division civil judge had on April 8 this year ordered the five-member ASI team to conduct a “comprehensive physical survey” of the complex of the two shrines to determine if any temple was demolished to build the mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishvanath temple.
The court’s order had been challenged by Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and a petition was moved by senior advocate S.F.A. Naqvi and advocates Ahmed Faizan and Punit Gupta, questioning the maintainability of the suit.
In their petition, they have levelled allegation of ignoring the order of the Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991 according to which any place of worship that came into existence before 15 August 1947 cannot be converted into another shrine.