Court orders survey of Gyanvapi mosque to complete by May 17

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A Varanasi court on Thursday upheld the appointment of Advocate Commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra for the survey of the an Gyanvapi Mosque.

Court's decision on the Gyanvapi case came against the backdrop of demand for the removal of the court-appointed Commissioner to be removed. Denying the request, the court not only upheld the appointment of the Commissioner but also stated that the survey is done again before May 17.

A district court has delivered its verdict today in the case related to the video survey of the Gyanvapi mosque located adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

District court also orders the appointment of two more lawyers as commissioners to accompany Court commissioner Ajay Mishra for the survey.

A plea was filed by the Gyanvapi mosque management committee (Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid) seeking the removal of Ajay Kumar Mishra as the court commissioner for the survey, lawyers said. The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, who had earlier heard the arguments of the Hindu and Muslim sides, further heard the matter relating to the opening of the two basements located inside the barricading in the Gyanvapi complex for videography and replacement of advocate commissioner.

Advocate commissioner Mishra also presented his side, lawyer Shivam Gaur representing the Hindu side told reporters.

After hearing arguments of both sides, the court announced its decision today.

Meanwhile, the joint secretary of Anjuman Intezamiya Masjid Syed Mohammad Yasin told PTI that there is barricading all around Gyanvapi Masjid and the Hindu side is talking about videography of the two basements located beneath the mosque by opening them.

Gaur claimed that in the order for the videography-survey issued by the court on April 26, the matter of videography by going inside the barricading is also included.

The videography and survey of the mosque were ordered by Judge Diwakar on a plea by Delhi women Rakhi Singh, Laxmi Devi, Sita Sahu and others seeking permission to perform daily worship of deities Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and Nandi whose idols are located on the outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.

The women had moved the court with their plea on April 18, 2021, and also sought a court's order to stop the opponents from causing any damage to the idols.

The counsel for the mosque management committee had earlier contended that the court had not given any order to do the videography inside the mosque but to do it only till the 'chabutra' (courtyard) outside the barricades enclosing the mosque area.

The court commissioner had on Friday conducted an inconclusive survey of some areas outside Gyanvapi Masjid in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex amid brief sloganeering by the two sides.

The Muslim side had accused the court-appointed advocate commissioner of acting in a biased manner, alleging that he had tried to get videography done inside the Gyanvapi mosque without orders and moved the court to replace him.

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