The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has filed an application in the Varanasi district court today, seeking an additional three weeks to submit the report of the scientific survey conducted on the premises of the Gyanvapi Mosque.
Amit Srivastava, standing government counsel representing ASI, submitted the application to the court requesting more time to compile and finalize the comprehensive report. The court is scheduled to hear ASI’s plea at around 2 pm.
The extensive survey, spanning a duration of 100 days, concluded nearly a month ago. However, ASI has sought several extensions during this period, citing the complexity and thoroughness required in preparing the report.
The latest extension request comes after the Varanasi District Judge had earlier granted ASI 10 more days on November 18 to file its report on the Gyanvapi Mosque Survey. The extended deadline for the submission of the scientific survey report was set to expire today.
The survey was ordered by a Varanasi court on July 21, following a petition by four women who sought permission to pray at the Shringar Gauri Shrine which is behind the western wall of the temple. The Wuzukhana area, which has been sealed by the orders of the Supreme Court, has been left out of the survey.
In compliance with that order, the ASI conducted the survey for over four-and-a-half hours on July 24 after which the Supreme Court on the same day halted the exercise till 5pm on July 26 and granted liberty to the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee (AIMC) to approach the Allahabad high court.
When the mosque committee moved the high court on July 25, it extended the stay on the survey. The high court gave its ruling on August 3 and allowed the exercise to go ahead. The AIMC moved the Supreme Court against the high court order, but the top court refused to stay the survey on August 4.
The Gyanvapi mosque’s scientific survey resumed amid tight security on August 4 after the Allahabad high court on August 3 vacated a stay and gave the go-ahead for the exercise. The Varanasi court had initially ordered the survey on July 21 and asked for submission of the report by August 4.
Hearing an ASI application on October 5, the court granted four more weeks to complete the survey and submit the report.
On November 2, the court granted 15 days’ time to the ASI, directing it to submit the report by November 17.
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