Inspection of Gyanvapi mosque to continue, survey commissioner stays: What Varanasi court said in its order

A district court in Varanasi on Thursday rejected the plea to change the court-appointed advocate commissioner for conducting a video survey of the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex and appointed two additional advocate commissioners to assist him.

Abhay Nath Yadav, representing the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, said the court has also directed for completion of the survey by May 17 and submission of its report.

The court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar, delivered the verdict after hearing the arguments of both the sides.

The Gyanvapi mosque management committee had filed an application seeking a replacement of court official Ajay Kumar Mishra, who was assigned to do the survey, claiming he was not impartial.

On April 8, while hearing a petition filed by five women seeking the right to worship at the disputed site, Judge Diwakar, appointed Ajay Kumar Mishra as Advocate Commissioner to carry out a survey of the Mosque complex at the disputed site — and directed him to “prepare videography of the action” and submit a report.

Here are the highlights from the Court’s order:

🔴 The court in its order said locks at the mosque will be opened and inspection will be done. If someone creates any hindrance, they will be booked. “The Advocate Commissioners will be independent to take photos and videos as per pointers being given by the petitioners. If anyone creates any hindrance to this, like if there are some locks, then the district administration will have the full right to get the locks opened/broken for the Commission’s action.”

🔴 The court also said, “During the inspection at the spot, as per court’s orders earlier, the plaintiffs, respondents, their lawyers, advocate Commissioners, their assistants and only other persons related to the Commission’s work will be the only people present at the spot. No outside person will be allowed there except those part of the Commission.”

🔴 The Varanasi District Magistrate and the police Commissioner have the personal responsibility to complete the Commission’s action.

🔴 The court order also said that the UP DGP, UP chief secretary (administration) are directed to supervise the related action so that the district officials can’t make any excuses to postpone the Commission’s action.

🔴 The Commission’s action will be undertaken from 8 am to 12 noon every day till the Commission’s work concludes, the order stated.

🔴 The court also said that a report should be submitted by the Advocate Commissioners in the court on May 17 regarding the inspection being conducted by the Commission. This is the operative part of the court’s order.

(With inputs from ENS, agencies)

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