Varanasi District judge Ajay Krishna Vishvesha issued a warning on Thursday regarding the potential legal consequences of publishing news related to the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi without proper information from the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), the plaintiffs, and the defendants involved.
In response to an application by the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, Anjuman Intezamia Masajid (AIM), Judge Vishvesha declared that ASI officials, along with the plaintiffs, defendants, and their respective legal representatives, are not authorised to share or comment on any information regarding the survey.
The judge directed ASI officials to exclusively present their report to the court and refrain from divulging any details to print, electronic, or social media.
The court order, which was delivered after being reserved the day before, emphasised that sharing information on the ASI survey is "neither relevant nor legal".
"If print, social and electronic media wrongly run news about the survey without any formal information being given by the ASI, plaintiffs or defendants, necessary action as per law could be taken against them," the judge said, reports Times of India.
As part of its order, the court also extended the prohibition on sharing information about the ASI survey with the media to include the district government counsel (civil) and other officials.
The aim of this measure is to ensure that the survey's report is presented exclusively before the court. Following the permission of the district judge on 21 July, the Archaeological Survey of India had commenced a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi complex.
This came in response to an application filed by four women plaintiffs who sought permission to conduct puja of Shringar Gauri and other deities in the disputed structure.
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