On Saturday, September 2, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) sought an additional 8 weeks time to complete its scientific survey of the disputed Gyanvapi site and submit its report.
It is notable that the district judge’s court had directed ASI to survey Gyanvapi premises, with the exception of the sealed ‘Wazukhana,’ and submit its findings by September 4.
According to district government counsel Rajesh Mishra, the ASI filed an application for further time to finish the survey job and submit the survey report.
Shubhash Nandan Chaturvedi, a lawyer for Hindu petitioners, said that the Varanasi district court gave ASI four weeks to complete its survey, the deadline for which ended on Saturday.
“We believe the survey has not yet been completed, and ASI may request an extension,” he said.
Since District Judge AK Vishvesh is on leave, District Judge-in-Charge, ADJ-I Sanjeev Sinha, scheduled a hearing before the District Judge court on September 8, according to Mishra.
The ASI is conducting an extensive survey of the disputed Gyanvapi structure to ascertain whether the 17th-century mosque was built on top of a pre-existing Hindu temple.
The survey was started after the Allahabad High Court upheld a Varanasi district court decision, ruling that the action is “necessary in the interest of justice” and will benefit both Hindu and Muslim parties.
Reportedly, a GPR survey is being conducted by a team from Hyderabad in the area below the three domes at the disputed site to determine if the Gyanvapi ‘mosque’ is constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.
Previously, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, who represents the Hindu side, stated that an out-of-court settlement in the Gyanvapi Mosque case “is not legally possible.”
His comments came after Jitendra Singh Bisen, the international head of the Vishwa Vedic Sanatan Sangh, proposed an out-of-court settlement in the Gyanvapi issue in a letter to Anjuman Intejamia.