It directs ASI to form 5-member panel of experts for the task. Two of them should preferably belong to minority community, it says
A local court in Varanasi on Thursday directed the Archaeological Survey of India to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque compound adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple to find out whether it was a “superimposition, alteration or addition or there is structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any other religious structure”.
The court also directed the DG of the ASI to constitute a five-member committee of experts and those well versed in science of archaeology, two out of whom should preferably belong to the minority community.
The committee would “trace as to whether any Hindu temple ever existed before the mosque in question was built or superimposed or added upon at the disputed site,” said senior civil judge fast track court Ashutosh Tiwari in his order seen by The Hindu.
The order came on a petition demanding the restoration of the land on which the mosque stands to the Hindus claiming that Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb had pulled down parts of the old Kashi Vishwanath Temple to build the mosque.
The DG of the ASI is directed to get a comprehensive archaeological physical survey be done of the entire settlement plot no 9130 located at Mauja Shahar Khas, Pargana Dehat Amanat, including the Naubat Khana of the northern gate of the Gyanvapi compound and the house towards the northern gate of the naubatkhana, the court said.
“The prime purpose of the archaeological survey shall be to find out as to whether the religious structure standing at present at the disputed site is a superimposition, alteration or addition or there is structural overlapping of any kind, with or over, any other religious structure,” the judge said.
The committee has also been tasked to prepare a comprehensive documentation along with the drawing, plan, elevation site map with precise breadth and width of the disputed site marked with hatched lines in the plaint map.
The court also asked the ASI to appoint an expert as an observer for the committee, preferably a scholarly personality and established academician of any central university.