Varanasi (UP): The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Saturday resumed its scientific survey work at the Gyanvapi mosque here to determine whether the 17th-century mosque was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple.
Government counsel Rajesh Mishra, who accompanied the ASI survey team during the day-long exercise a day before, on Saturday said the team started work in the morning and it would end at 5 pm.
The Supreme Court on Friday refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order on the ASI survey of the Gyanvapi mosque, an exercise that the Muslim side says will “reopen wounds of the past”.
The bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justices J B Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, however, asked the ASI not to carry out any invasive act during the survey.
This ruled out excavations, which the Varanasi court had said can be conducted if necessary.
The Supreme Court nod on Friday came just hours after an ASI team had already resumed the detailed scientific survey ordered by the Varanasi district court on July 21.
The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid committee had challenged the district court’s order in the Allahabad High Court, which dismissed its petition on Thursday. The Muslim body then quickly approached the Supreme Court.
On Friday, the Varanasi court also granted the ASI an additional month to complete the survey, extending its original deadline from Friday to September 4.