The Supreme Court on Friday, 4 August, upheld the Allahabad High Court order allowing the scientific survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The top court however, added, that the survey has to be done via "non-invasive means."
A day ago, on 3 August, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee had approached the top court against the High Court order of the same day.
The High Court, while passing its order had said:
"Issue of a comminsion is permissible. The Varanasi Court was justified in ordering for ASI survey of the premises. Scientific survey is necessary in the interest of justice."
Survey Details: The survey, which started early on Friday, ahead of the top court hearing, is expected to determine “whether the present structure was constructed over a pre-existing structure of a Hindu temple."
Previously: After the initial Varanasi court order, the Mosque committee had challenged it in the Supreme Court.
While the top court, on Monday, 24 July, asked the petitioners to approach the High Court, it did put an interim stay of two days (till 26 July) on the survey to allow them enough time.
The High Court hearing: The mosque committee then moved the Allahabad High Court on 25 July.
During the hearing, the Mosque committee primarily argued that once the scientific survey is conducted, the entire Mosque Premises might be adversely affected. They also raised concerns over the fact that the ASI was not a party to the suit. Despite this, the District Judge directed the ASI to survey the mosque premises (except the 'Wazukhana').
Background: The case pertains to a plea filed by five Hindu women seeking permission for the worship of Hindu deities whose idols were allegedly found to be located on an outer wall of the Gyanvapi mosque.