Allahabad HC rejects PIL to seal Gyanvapi premises
The Allahabad high court on Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn a petition seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to seal the entire Gyanvapi premises.
The Allahabad high court on Tuesday dismissed as withdrawn a petition seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to seal the entire Gyanvapi premises without affecting the Varanasi court’s order for the survey of the 17th-century mosque by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI).
A bench comprising chief justice Pritinker Diwakar and justice Ashutosh Srivastava dismissed the public interest litigation (PIL) as withdrawn when petitioner counsel made a prayer to approach the appropriate forum as per law and file an application for the reliefs claimed in the petition.
The PIL was filed on August 2 by Jitendra Singh Visen, the head of Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, Rakhi Singh, one of the plaintiffs in the Gauri Shringar-Gyanvapi suit pending before the Varanasi district court, and others.
The petitioners had sought a direction to the state government and district administration to “restrain the entry of non-Hindus” in the complex till the disposal of the suits pending in the district court, claiming not doing so would damage Hindu signs and symbols allegedly found in the premises.
When the matter came up for hearing, the bench inquired from the petitioners’ counsel, Saurabh Tiwari, as to how only non-Hindus would damage the Hindu signs and symbols. The court wondered how damages could be caused when everything was being recorded and photographs taken of whatever artefacts were found.
The court also took into account submissions of additional advocate general Manish Goyal, who said that the court orders were being followed.
ASI survey continues
Meanwhile, ASI surveyed the three domes of the Gyanvapi complex on Tuesday, the fifth day of the court-mandated exercise to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.
“The survey began at 8am and ended at 5pm. There was a two-hour break from 12.30pm to 2.30pm,” Sudhir Tripathi, counsel for some of the Hindu plaintiffs, said, adding that the survey will resume again at 8am on Wednesday.
The Muslim side fully cooperated in the survey, Tripathi added.
SM Yasin, the joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee, which manages the Gyanvapi mosque, said three members of the committee — vice-president Haji Javed Iqbal, caretaker Ejaz Mohammad and member Shamsher Ali — were present in the survey.