ASI report stuck in legal tangle

  • Nivedita Khandekar, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 16, 2010 23:41 IST

A fortnight after Allahabad High Court delivered the verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue, the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) is still not sure as to how it would be able to publish the report on excavation it carried out at Ayodhya in 2003 in connection with the case.

Amidst opinions and allegations from certain sections that the judgment was in favour of the Hindus based on the ASI report, there has been a demand to publish the report. But, the archeological body is still not sure about its legal position on the same. 

“The Allahabad High Court's Lucknow bench had asked us to carry out the excavation. The report is with the High Court and we were asked not even to speak about it till the judgment was out,” said ASI sources.

The report is part of the judicial records and is now court property. “We would have to ask our lawyer to find out the legal position,” the sources added.       

Earlier this week, group intellectuals, academics and activists had demanded that the ASI report be brought out in public domain for scrutiny.

One of the issues in the Ayodhya case was whether or not there was any Hindu religious structure and whether the Babri Masjid was constructed after demolishing such temple at the disputed site.

The HC had asked the ASI to conduct Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to ascertain possibility of proof of remnants of some earlier structure.

After the GPR survey found traces of pillars, foundation walls slab flooring, extending over a large portion of the site, the court further asked the ASI to carry out the excavation.

The agency then carried out excavation during March-August 2003 at the disputed area and submitted a report to the court.

 

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