The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday adjourned the hearing of Varanasi's Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanwapi Mosque complex case due to paucity of time after expressing dissatisfaction over the absence of any senior government counsel.

It has fixed the next date hearing on April 4.

Hearing a petition filed by Anjuman Intazamia Masjid of Varanasi, Justice Prakash Padia observed, "Though the central government and the state government are the party but it is unfortunate that no senior counsel is present on their behalf except Rajesh Kumar Mishra and Ved Prakash Dwivedi, learned standing counsel for the State."

Earlier on March 24, the counsel representing the temple argued that the religious character of the place of worship remained the same as on the day of August 15, 1947, therefore, the provisions of the Place of Worship Act, 1991 cannot be applied.

Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, bars filing of suit or any other legal proceedings with respect to conversion of religious character of any place of worship, existing on August 15, 1947.

The civil judge (senior division), fast track court of Varanasi, had directed the Archaeological Survey of India on April 8 last year to conduct a survey of Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex to find out whether a temple was demolished to build the mosque that stands there adjacent to the temple.

Subsequently, the High Court, in the present case, had on September 9 last year stayed the Varanasi Court's order that directed the Archaeological Survey of India to "conduct a comprehensive physical survey" of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex and further proceedings of this case.

With PTI Inputs