By LE Desk

New Delhi, April 14: The managing committee of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board have moved the Allahabad High Court to restrain the proceedings of a local court, which recently directed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a physical survey of the mosque compound adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

The two bodies filed applications in the High Court in the petition in which they had challenged the maintainability of a civil suit pending before the Varanasi district court regarding the title dispute in the case. Arguing that the HC had on March 15 reserved its judgment in the maintainability suit, the mosque committee and the Sunni Board pleaded with the HC to restrain the lower court from further proceedings.

Senior fast-track court civil Judge Ashutosh Tiwari on April 8 directed the ASI to conduct a physical survey of the Gyanvapi mosque compound adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple to find out whether it was a “superimposition, alteration or addition or there is structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any other religious structure”. The committee would “trace as to whether any Hindu temple ever existed before the mosque in question was built or superimposed or added upon at the disputed site”.

Advocate S.F.A. Naqvi said an urgent application had been moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, caretaker of the mosque, in the HC. In the application, the mosque said the civil Judge was “behaving in the most arbitrary manner and is passing the orders against the spirit of Judicial discipline”, The Hindu reported.

The civil Judge had ignored the entire written submissions and applicability of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 and the Order 7 Rule 11D of the Civil Procedure Code, the mosque committee argued. “…it appears the learned civil Judge concerned is more interested to bypass all judicial disciplines and ethics as well as procedures of law and to establish himself as above the judicial hierarchy as defined under the Civil Procedure Code and had assumed himself as the only authority to decide the entire issue without looking into the legal impediment and bars,” said the application.

Punit Kumar Gupta, lawyer for the Sunni Waqf Board, also confirmed that an urgent application had been moved in the HC seeking “restrains” against the proceedings of the lower court in the matter.

The civil Judge had last week also said that a committee formed by the ASI as per its directions would be entitled to enter every portion of the religious structure situated at the disputed site, but shall first resort to only Ground Penetrating Radar or Geo-Radiology System or both to satisfy itself on whether any excavation or extraction work is needed at any portion of the religious structure.

If excavation or extraction was to be done at any portion of the structure, it should be first done by trial trench method vertically and that too on a very small scale and not more than four square feet at a time, the court said.

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