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UP: Waqf to appeal against ASI survey of Gyanvapi

AYODHYA: The Sunni Central Waqf Board has decided to move the High Court against the order of Varanasi civil judge for archaeological survey of Gyanvapi complex compound.
Sunni Waqf Board chairman Zufar Farooqui told TOI on Thursday, “We are moving the high court against this order. We think this order is in violation of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 that was also forcefully endorsed by the Supreme Court in its Ayodhya title suit judgment.”
“The order of the civil judge, Varanasi court, ordering a survey by the Archaeological Survey of India will be challenged in the high court. Our understanding is clear that this case is barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991,” he added.
Farooqui further said that The Places of Worship Act was upheld by the five-judge Constitution Bench of the Supreme Court in the Ayodhya verdict as hence the status of Gyanvapi Masjid is, as such, beyond question.
Even otherwise, we can say as per legal advice that the order of survey is questionable because technical evidence can only supplement certain foundational facts, he claimed.
“No evidence has been produced before the lower court that suggests there was a prior existing temple at the site of the mosque. Even in the Ayodhya judgment, the ASI excavation was ultimately of no use. The ASI could not prove that Babri Masjid was built after demolishing the temple,” the Sunni Waqf Board chairman asserted.
The Supreme Court has specifically observed that there was no such evidence. Thus, this practice of mosques being ‘surveyed’ by the ASI has to be stopped. We will approach the high court against this unwarranted order immediately, said Farooqui.

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