August 19, 2021 4:53:19 am
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday granted three weeks to the Centre and the Uttar Pradesh government to file their responses to a petition challenging a Varanasi local court order that had ordered “a comprehensive archaeological physical survey” of the disputed Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex.
On April 8, while stating that “the matter in dispute pertains to have connection with our deep history”, a Varanasi court had ordered the director general of the Archaeological Survey of India to “get a comprehensive archaeological physical survey” done of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex and “find out as to whether the religious structure standing at present at the disputed site is a superimposition, alteration or addition or there is a structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any religious structure”.
Holding a hearing on the petition filed by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Varanasi on Tuesday, the local court had permitted the petitioner’s counsel, senior advocate SFA Naqvi and others “to implead Union of India, Ministry of Culture through Director General, Archaeological Survey of India Darohar Bhawan, 24 Tilak Marg, New Delhi and State Government, through Secretary, Ministry of Home, UP, Lucknow as respondent Nos.7 and 8” in the petition.
The high court was told on Wednesday that in compliance of the aforesaid orders on Tuesday, notices were served to the offices of the Assistant Solicitor General of India and the Advocate General.
When the matter was taken up on Wednesday, senior counsel and Assistant Solicitor General of India Shashi Prakash Singh was present on behalf of respondent No 7 and Additional Advocate General MC Chaturvedi, appeared on behalf of respondent No.8.
After the lawyers sought time from the high court, Justice Prakash Padia granted them three weeks to file a reply to the petition and one week for filing of a rejoinder affidavit.
The court scheduled the next hearing on the matter and those related to it on September 28.
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