The Allahabad High Court will further hear on July 14 a plea moved by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board and the Gyanvapi mosque management committee that has challenged the maintainability of a suit filed before a Varanasi court, seeking the restoration of a temple at the site where the mosque exists.
The petitioners have also challenged a Varanasi court order dated April 8, 2021, directing the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a comprehensive survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex.
After a brief hearing on Friday, Justice Prakash Padia directed that the matter be put up for further hearing on July 14.
Justice Padia had reserved his judgment in the matter on November 28, 2022 after hearing both sides at length. The court had also directed that its earlier interim order that had stayed the aforesaid direction of the Varanasi court will continue till the delivery of the judgment.
However, in its order dated May 24, Justice Padia said certain clarifications were required from the counsel for the parties and put up the matter, along with other connected matters, for further hearing on Friday.
Earlier, the high court had reserved its judgment on the maintainability of the suit pending in the Varanasi court. Now, all matters relating to the suit’s maintainability and the ASI survey will be heard together by the court.
On April 8, 2021, hearing a suit seeking the restoration of the temple at the Gyanvapi mosque site, the Varanasi court had directed the ASI to conduct a comprehensive survey of the mosque complex.
Subsequently, the Varanasi court’s order was challenged before the high court by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM), the Gyanvapi management committee and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.
On September 9, 2021, the high court stayed the Varanasi court’s April 8 order. The stay order was extended from time to time during the hearing of the matter.
Hearing the petition filed by the AIM and the waqf board, Justice Padia had reserved his judgment on November 28, 2022 and also directed that the interim stay on the Varanasi court order asking the ASI for a survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex will continue till the delivery of the judgment.