[Gyanvapi survey] Varanasi Civil Court allows court-appointed commissioner to carry out survey

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A Varanasi court on Thursday allowed the court-appointed commissioner Ajai Kumar Mishra to inspect, conduct videography and collect evidence regarding the alleged existence of Hindu deities inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

A plea by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid alleging the bias on part of the court-appointed commissioner to carry out the survey was dismissed by Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar. However, Court added two more advocates namely Vishal Singh and Ajay Pratap Singh to the survey commission.

The court has ordered the commission to submit its report by May 17. 

The development has taken place in the plea filed by 5 women seeking performance of all rituals of Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman & other deities within the "old temple complex" allegedly existing inside the mosque site.

The local court had appointed an advocate commissioner for "inspection & videography" of the "disputed site” on August 18, 2021 and had directed the authorities to submit a report by May 10.

In accordance with that, the inspection team had arrived at the site and started the survey, but the same was objected by Anjuman Intezamia Masajid, alleging that the court-commissioner is biased against Muslims.

Consequently, a plea was then moved seeking replacement of the court commissioner, which was dismissed today.

Rakhi Singh and others filed the suit before the court, which sought a declaration that their right to profess their religion as guaranteed under Article 25 of the Constitution is breached.

Notably, the Allahabad High Court recently also dismissed a petition moved by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (Gyanvapi) challenging the appointment of Adv. Commissioner.

Rejecting the allegation of the Committee that Adv. Mishra has been appointed at the behest of the Hindu devotees, the High Court bench had said, “There is no reason for the petitioner to cry foul about the aforesaid choice.”

Case Title: Rakhi Singh and Ors v. State of UP