The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday granted 10 more days to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) as a "last opportunity" to file its counter-affidavit in the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque case.

The permission was granted by the court subject to the payment of Rs 10,000 in the Legal Services Committee, Allahabad.

The amount must be deposited on or before October 31, the next date of hearing in the matter.

Justice Prakash Padia passed the order in a petition filed by the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, the Gyanvapi Mosque management committee in Varanasi.

On the request of ASI for some more time to file the counter-affidavit, the high court observed, "The matter is taken up again, a prayer has been made by Shashi Prakash Singh, Senior Counsel/Assistant Solicitor General of India, assisted by Manoj Kumar Singh, learned counsel for ASI, to grant at least six weeks time to file counter-affidavit. Since the civil suit (that) is pending in Varanasi is of the year 1991, in the interest of justice, as a last opportunity, 10 days further time is granted to file a counter-affidavit, subject to payment of Rs 10,000 in the Legal Services Committee, Allahabad".

On September 28, the High Court had extended till October 31 the interim stay on a Varanasi court order directing the ASI to conduct a survey at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex and further proceedings in this case.

The petitioner, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid, and others had filed the petition challenging the maintainability of an original suit filed in 1991 in the Varanasi district court.

The original suit sought restoration of the ancient Kashi Vishwanath Temple at the site where the Gyanvapi Mosque currently stands. The petitioners claimed in the suit that the mosque is a part of the temple.

Cause Title: Anjuman Intazamia Masazid Varanasi v. Ist A.D.J. Varanasi & Ors

Click here to read/download Order

With PTI inputs