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ASI survey report on Gyanvapi to be given to both sides, not to be made public: Varanasi court

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Varanasi, Jan 24 (PTI) A Varanasi court on Wednesday ruled that the ASI report on the Gyanvapi mosque complex survey will be given to both sides while making it clear that the report should not be made public, the counsel for the Hindu litigants said.

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District Judge A K Vishvesh said both the Hindu and Muslim parties shall give an affidavit to keep the report with them and not make it public, said Madan Mohan Yadav, the counsel for Hindu side.

Following a July 21 order of the district court, the ASI carried out the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi premises, located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple here, to determine whether the mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.

Yadav said the ASI submitted its survey report in the Fast Track Court of Justice Prashant Singh after which the matter came in the district judge court who ordered to provide hard copies of the report to the parties.

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On Wednesday, the Muslim side pleaded in the district court that the survey report should be with the parties and not be made public.

On this, the court said while acquiring that report, the parties shall give an affidavit to keep the report with them and not make it public.

The survey was ordered by the court after the Hindu petitioners claimed the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing temple.

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The ASI had submitted its survey report to the district court in a sealed cover on December 18.

The ASI had on January 3 urged the court not to make its Gyanvapi complex survey report public for at least four more weeks, citing the December 19 judgment of the Allahabad High Court ASI counsel Amit Shrivastava had told the district court that the high court had said in its order that, if necessary, the Civil Judge Senior Division Fast Track Court can order a survey of the Gyanvapi complex once again.

Therefore, if the survey report comes into the public domain now, a situation of contradiction may arise. Therefore, four weeks should be given to open the survey report and make it available to the parties, the counsel had said.

The high court had on December 19 dismissed several pleas from the Muslim side challenging the maintainability of a suit seeking restoration of a temple where the Gyanvapi mosque now stands in Varanasi. PTI CORR SNS KVK KVK

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