Madhya Pradesh High Court Extends Deadline for ASI to Submit Bhojshala Survey Report

The Indore bench of the Madhya Pradesh High Court has granted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) an additional ten days to submit its detailed survey report on the Bhojshala-Kamal Maula mosque complex, located in Dhar district. The ASI now has until July 15 to present its findings on the disputed 11th-century monument, which has been a point of contention between Hindu and Muslim communities.

Originally, the ASI was to submit the report by July 2, according to a prior court order. However, on the deadline day, the ASI requested a four-week extension, citing a need for more time to analyze the extensive data collected through a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Geographic Information System (GIS) survey. The Hyderabad-based National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI), collaborating on the survey, had requested an additional three weeks to complete its analysis.

Despite the ASI’s request for a longer extension, the bench, comprising Justice Sushruta Arvind Dharmadhikari and Duppala Venkata Ramana, decided to allow only ten additional days. The court emphasized that sufficient time had already been provided and insisted on the submission of the survey report by mid-July. All parties involved in the case are to receive copies of the report once submitted.

During the proceedings, the ASI confirmed that the survey of the site had been completed. Senior advocate Salman Khurshid, representing the Muslim community, sought assurances from the ASI that no further excavations would be conducted at the site post-survey. ASI’s counsel Himanshu Joshi clarified that while no excavations were ongoing, necessary measures were being taken to level the ground to prevent rainwater damage to the historic structure.

The high court has scheduled the next hearing for July 22, when further discussions on the findings and implications of the survey are expected.

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The Bhojshala-Kamal Maula mosque complex is historically significant, with the Hindu community recognizing it as a temple of Vagdevi (Goddess Saraswati) and the Muslim community identifying it as the Kamal Maula Mosque.

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