A district court in Varanasi recently rejected a plea appealing a survey of the wazukhana (ablution pond) area within the Gyanvapi mosque by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). The plea mentioned that the survey should not cause any harm to the structure except for the ‘Shivling’ inside it. District Court Judge Ajaya Krishna Vishvesha rejected the plea, citing concerns that this survey could potentially violate the Supreme Court’s order issued on May 17, 2022.
The background of this circumstance involves a series of legal actions and court orders. On May 16, 2022, the Varanasi court ordered the sealing of the area where the ‘Shivling’ was reportedly discovered within the Gyanvapi mosque. The very next day, on May 17, the Supreme Court appointed the District Magistrate of Varanasi to ensure the protection of the ‘Shivling’ within the mosque.
In August, one of the Hindu petitioners concerned in the Gyanvapi mosque worship rights suit presented a fresh application to the Varanasi district judge. The application sought directions for the ASI to conduct a survey of the wazukhana area, excluding the ‘Shivling. The petitioner proclaimed that such a survey was required to determine the religious nature of the property in question and that it would not damage the protected portion.
The dismissal of this plea has led the petitioner’s representative, Advocate Saurabh Tiwari, to declare their purpose to proceed towards the Allahabad High Court. The situation considers the ongoing legal complexities surrounding the Gyanvapi mosque and the importance of the ‘Shivling’ within it, which has been the subject of disputes and legal proceedings. As the case continues, it remains a matter of legal contention with suggestions for the religious and cultural heritage of the region.