38.6c New Delhi, India, Friday, May 24, 2024
Judiciary

For you, it may be 'frivolous', for the other side it may be a matter of faith,' SC allows scientific survey at Gyanvapi complex [Watch Hearing]

By LAWSTREET NEWS NETWORK      05 August, 2023 01:46 AM      0 Comments

NEW DELHI: In a major decision, the Supreme Court Friday declined to interfere with the Allahabad High Court's order allowing a scientific survey by the Archaeological Survey of India at the Gyanvapi complex at Varanasi to ascertain if the mosque was constructed on a pre existing Hindu temple.

A bench of Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra rejected a plea by Anjuman Intejamia Masjid Committee Varanasi against the Allahabad High Court's August 3 order. The HC had then upheld the District Judge's July 21 order for carrying out such a survey.

The HC, however, had directed that there would not be any excavation or use of invasive method at the site.

Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Gyanvapi masjid committee, asked if somebody files a frivolous petition saying that there is a monument below this structure, will the court order an ASI survey?

The bench replied, "Even in the Ayodhya case, we gave the judgement after the ASI survey was done. For you the suit may be 'frivolous', for the other side it may be a matter of faith".

On Ahmadi's vehement objection to the ASI survey, the bench said, "Why should we interfere with the high court order at this stage".

“We are unable to differ with the view of the high court….we reiterate the direction of the high court that there shall be no excavation,” the bench said.

The top court directed that the entire survey be carried out through non-invasive methods and also there should be no excavation or damage to the walls or structure of the mosque.

The high court had recorded a statement of a senior Assistant Director General of the ASI Alok Tripathi that no excavation at the mosque complex will take place.

The top court declined to consider Ahmadi's contention that the survey was against the spirit of the Places of Worship Act, 1991 which mandated maintaining character of religious places as prevailed on August 15, 1947. The counsel said allowing the survey would open floodgates of filing similar plea across the country.

He said it is alarming as they wanted to evict us of the property piece by piece.

The bench, however, said, "It is an interlocutory order passed during the examination of the suit. We will protect the structure ...we will safeguard your interests."

"Why should we interject at this stage? Two courts have held against you....Despite assurance that it (survey) is not going to harm you, you are objecting to it, tomorrow you may succeed and this survey will be reduced to just a piece of paper," the bench told the counsel.

Senior advocate Madhavi Divan, appearing for a group of Hindu women who filed the suit for right to worship, contended that the job of the ASI is to preserve and protect the monument and not cause any damage to it.

"The survey is for benefit of the court in determination of the suit, and not in any manner is prejudicial or adversarial, it can go either way. It is a chance we are taking," she said.

The trial court in its discretion had directed the survey. To interdict the  survey is to disable the court, she added.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, representing the ASI, that no excavation will take place and no damage to wall etc will happen, and stressed that no damage will be caused to the structure.

The bench also pointed out that in Ayodhya case, the evidentiary value of ASI survey was examined and the court separated grain from shaft, and then discarded some findings.

Ahmadi said when you start digging into the past then you are uncovering the wounds of the past, and that is what Places of Worship Act sought to injunct.

Mehta said that the ASI affidavit says there is no drilling, cutting of stone will be done from the existing structure and also no wall or structure will be damaged. Mehta said ASI says it will be done by the non-destructive method.

Ahmadi said the basis of the survey is that a structure existed underneath it 500 years ago and this survey will unravel wounds of the past.

Ahmadi submitted that a statement was made by the Uttar Pradesh Chief minister Yogi Adityanath, when the matter was sub judice.

Ahmadi said that he needs some time to address the court on Places of Worship Act 1991.

On this, the bench said to hear on the Places of Worship Act, while hearing a challenge to interlocutory order, the conventional wisdom is when there is a procedural order you don't go into an issue which goes at the root of the suit.

In its petition, the mosque committee contended that the HC's order is liable to be set aside on account of "grave risks posed by such an exercise which may have consequences throughout the country".

It also referred to "extreme media coverage and communal undertones of the entire issue" when a commissioner was appointed for a survey last year.

The plea also claimed such an examination was "absolutely" against the provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

On July 21, District judge A K Vishvesh had ordered the survey by declaring that "wazookhana", where a structure claimed by the Hindu litigants to be a "Shivling" was found during the survey in May, 2022, would not be a part of it, as the Supreme Court had earlier ordered protecting the spot in the complex.

The Hindu side claimed Kashi Vishwanath temple at Varanasi, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas, was first destroyed by the army of Qutb-ud-din Aibak, in 1194 CE. In 1669 CE, Aurangzeb again destroyed the temple and built the Gyanvapi Mosque in its place. The remains of the erstwhile Temple can be seen in the foundation, the columns and at the rear part of the mosque.

[Watch Hearing]



Share this article:

About:

Explore Comprehensive Legal Reporting with LawStreet Journal: Your Go-To Source for Supreme Court an...Read more

Follow:
TwitterLinkedinInstagram


Leave a feedback about this
Related Posts
View All

Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land Ayodhya verdict: SC rules in favour of Ram Lalla, Sunni Waqf Board gets alternate land

SC bench led by CJI Ranjan Gogoi has allotted the dispute site to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, while directing the government to allot an alternate 5 acre land within Ayodhya to Sunni Waqf Board to build a mosque.

Supreme Court Top Panel Names Chief Justices for Bombay, Orissa and Meghalaya High Courts Supreme Court Top Panel Names Chief Justices for Bombay, Orissa and Meghalaya High Courts

The Orissa High Court has been without a permanent chief justice since January 5, 2020 after the retirement of former Chief Justice, KS Jhaveri. The high court is currently headed by acting Chief Justice Sanju Panda.

Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER] Himachal Pradesh High Court Grant Bail to a Man Accused of Committing Unnatural Acts with Cow, Said that there is no Criminal History Depicting Pervert Mind [READ ORDER]

without commenting on the merits of the case at this stage of investigation and the period of detention he faced in jail, the Court after analyzing all things allowed bail to the accused person ( Jai Ram). Himachal Pradesh High Court, Grant Bail, Justice Anup Chitrakara

How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.? How the Waqf Board has the third largest ownership of land after the Indian Railways and the Defense Dept.?

SHO Bhardwaj was quick to defend the Maulvi in questioning regarding the Mazar but harassed the reported who sought truth. Why did the SHO have to harass a Media reporter when he was doing his job? Who benefits from this? Why is there a Mazar on a flyover? Why is a Minority Welfare development Board in control of so much property? || #Mazar #SHOBhardwaj #Mazar #Mosque #WaqfBoard #Islam #News #Waqf #RemoveSHOBharadwaj

TRENDING NEWS

no-legal-mandate-for-uploading-of-form-17c-on-website-or-handing-over-to-anyone-other-than-candidate-or-agent-ec-tells-sc
Trending Judiciary
No legal mandate for uploading of Form 17C on website or handing over to anyone other than candidate or agent, EC tells SC

EC tells SC there's no legal mandate to upload Form 17C on websites or provide it to anyone other than candidates or agents, citing risks of misuse and mistrust.

23 May, 2024 11:28 AM
national-security-always-paramount-sc-cancels-bail-of-pfi-members
Trending Judiciary
'National security always paramount,' SC cancels bail of PFI members [Read Judgment]

SC emphasizes national security, cancels bail of eight PFI members, stressing balance between civil liberties and counter-terrorism under UAPA.

23 May, 2024 12:05 PM

TOP STORIES

sc-notice-to-ec-on-plea-by-adr-for-release-of-voters-turnout-data
Trending Judiciary
SC notice to EC on plea by ADR for release of voters turnout data

SC issues notice to EC on ADR plea to release voter turnout data. SC demands EC to disclose vote counts within 48 hours after each phase of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

18 May, 2024 11:16 AM
recovered-direct-chats-between-kejriwal-and-hawala-operators-on-transfer-of-money-ed-claims-before-sc
Trending Judiciary
Recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on transfer of money, ED claims before SC

ED claims to have recovered direct chats between Kejriwal and hawala operators on money transfer in Delhi liquor policy scam; SC reserves judgement on arrest appeal.

18 May, 2024 11:47 AM
delhi-hc-refuses-jackie-shroff-interim-relief-against-youtuber-unfilteredthugesh-for-alleged-personality-rights-infringement
Trending CelebStreet
Delhi HC refuses Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for using "Thug Life" in video on Shroff

The Delhi High Court has refused Jackie Shroff interim relief against Youtuber 'UnfilteredThugesh' for alleged personality rights' infringement.

18 May, 2024 05:20 PM
abuse-under-sc-st-act-has-to-be-in-public-view-to-make-out-offence-sc
Trending Judiciary
Abuse under SC/ST Act has to be in public view to make out offence: SC [Read Judgment]

SC rules abuse under SC/ST Act must be in public view. Case involves Olympic Riding and Equestrian Academy, highlighting key requirements for the offence.

18 May, 2024 05:45 PM

ADVERTISEMENT


Join Group

Signup for Our Newsletter

Get Exclusive access to members only content by email