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Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker of the high court heard arguments from both sides regarding the mosque’s survey, which was temporarily halted by the Supreme Court on Monday.
Previously, the high court extended the Supreme Court stay on the survey until July 27. The ASI’s additional director had filed an affidavit in the high court, assuring that the structure would not be damaged during the survey.
The court was addressing a plea against a district court order directing the ASI to investigate whether the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi was built on a temple. Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, the mosque’s managing committee, moved the high court after the Supreme Court suspended the ASI survey until 5 pm on Wednesday, allowing the committee time to appeal the lower court’s order.
Vishnu Shankar Jain, the counsel for the Hindu side, argued that in the Ram Mandir case, an ASI survey was conducted and accepted by both the high court and the Supreme Court.
The Gyanvapi mosque is situated next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. Hindu litigants in the district court sought a survey to determine if a temple had previously existed at the same location.
On Friday, the Varanasi district court ordered the ASI to conduct a survey using technologies such as ground penetrating radar and excavations, if necessary. However, the Supreme Court’s order to pause the survey was issued while the ASI team was inside the mosque complex.
(With inputs from agencies)
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