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Home > News > The Ayodhya Issue > Report

Court raps ASI for seeking repeated extensions

July 02, 2003 14:57 IST

The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court on Wednesday pulled up the Archeological Survey of India for repeatedly seeking extension of time to carry out excavation at the disputed site in Ayodhya.

The full bench comprising Justice Sudhir Narain, Justice S R Alam and Justice Bhanwar Singh rebuked the ASI team leader Hari Majhi.

"The court is getting an impression that there is slackness on the part of the ASI," the bench observed during the course of arguments on the ASI's application seeking three-month extension to carry out excavations.

The bench also directed Majhi not to stop excavation work without seeking instructions from the court.

During the course of arguments, the Sunni Central Waqf Board, one of the plaintiffs in the case, alleged that the ASI was seeking extension under the direction of its political masters in New Delhi.

"The application for extension of time, moved by the ASI, is unwarranted and uncalled for and appears to have been moved at the instance of the BJP leadership," the SCWB contended in its objection filed before the court.

"The BJP is interested in dragging the excavation work at least up to the end of the forthcoming assembly polls in four states, which are likely to be held in October or November," the board's application said.

"They (BJP) are apprehending that the final excavation report may not give the message of any foundation of the alleged temple having found at the disputed site," board's counsel Zafaryab Jilani contended in his application.

The board further contended that up to June 28 last, the ASI team felt that no further extension was required and it appears to have changed its mind 'all of a sudden'.

The change in attitude appears to be on account of instructions received from Delhi and not on the basis of their assessment, the board alleged.

The bench also grilled the Tojo Vikas International's representative Manoj Kumar and the commissioner of Faizabad, who was also the authorised person of the acquired land.


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