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Kashi Vishwanath: Allahabad High Court extends stay on interim order of Varanasi court regarding survey till September 30

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The Allahabad High Court has extended the stay till September 30 on the interim order of the subordinate court of Varanasi to conduct a survey of the disputed premises of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple and Gyanvapi mosque.

A Single Bench of Justice Prakash Padia passed this order, while hearing a petition filed by Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi.

The Allahabad High Court said that in the Gyanvapi Mosque-Kashi Vishwanath dispute the Director General (DG) of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)has been asked to file a personal affidavit within 10 days.

The affidavit has to be filed in regards with the site at Varanasi to which Muslims and Hindus have laid claim for right to worship.

Justice Prakash Pardia said that the matter was of National importance,still the earlier affidavit filed by the ASI DG was “very sketchy”.

The court opined that the counter affidavit is also very sketchy and runs only into two and half pages.

The Director General, Archeological Survey of India, New Delhi has been asked to file his personal affidavit in the matter within 10 days.

An interim order had been extended by the judge on September 9, 2021, which stayed proceedings before Varanasi Court, and allowed a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex by the ASI till September 30.

The petitioner – Anjuman Intazamia Masazid – had moved the High Court challenging the maintainability of the original suit filed in 1991 before the Varanasi district court.

Yesterday, counsel for the respondents argued about the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 which  prohibit the conversion of a place of worship,while  he added that the plaintiffs before the district court did not seek conversion of the place.

The respondent council said that  evidence should lead the case as the disputed place has a religious character and there is a need for better adjudication.

The counsel also contended that the Court’s power under Article 227 of the Constitution was to be exercised most sparingly and only in appropriate cases in order to keep subordinate courts within the bounds of their authority.

He placed reliance upon a judgement of the Supreme Court passed in the case of Waryam Singh and others Vs Amarnath and others reported in AIR 1954 SC 215. He argued that the power under Article 227 of the Constitution of India is to be exercised most sparingly and only in appropriate cases in order to keep the Subordinates Court within the bounds of their authority and not for correcting mere errors.

The Court has fixed the next date of hearing on September 12, 2022.

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