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[GYANVAPI] Allahabad High Court Grants Further 8 Weeks' Time To ASI To Reply On Safe Evaluation Of 'Shiva Linga' Age

Sparsh Upadhyay
20 Jan 2023 6:13 AM GMT
Allahabad High Court, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), shiva linga, age, safe evaluation, Gyan Vapi, masjid, complex, Kashi Vishwanath temple, revisionist, april 5,

The Allahabad High Court has granted a further 8 weeks' time to the Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI) to give an opinion as to whether a safe evaluation of the age of the 'Shiva Linga', purportedly found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, can be done.

The bench of Justice J. J. Munir passed this order in a revision plea moved before it challenging the Varanasi Court's October 14 order wherein it had rejected Hindu worshippers' plea for conducting a scientific probe of the 'Shiva Linga', reportedly found inside Gyanvapi Mosque premises on May 16.

It may be noted that the Anjuman Masjid committee (which manages the Gyanvapi Mosque) has been calling the structure found inside the mosque premises in question as a 'Fauwara/Fountain'. On the other hand, the Hindu worshippers have been calling the structure as 'Shiva Linga'.

It may further be noted that hearing the matter on November 5, the Court had issued a notice to the Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI) essentially asking the DG, ASI to give her opinion on the following issues by November 21, 2022:

"...whether investigation of the structure found at site, subject matter of Original Suit No.18 of 2022 if examined through the methods of Carbon Dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Excavation and other methods adopted to determine its age, nature and other relevant information is likely to damage it or a safe evaluation about its age can be done."

However, on January 19, when the ASI submitted before the Court that it needs a further 8 weeks' time to file a response to Court's query, the Court allowed the prayer and posted the matter for further hearing on March 20, 2023.

Essentially, this issue came for the Court's consideration as the Revisionists (Laxmi Devi And 3 Others), while challenging the Varanasi Court's October 14 Order, have also sought HC's direction to the ASI to conduct a scientific probe of the 'Shiva Linga' through the methods of Carbon Dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), and Excavation.

The Revisionists further seek a direction to the ASI to give its opinion through the issue of a Commission for scientific investigation to determine the age, nature, and other constituents of the Shivlingam, employing the abovementioned methods.

For the uninitiated, a prayer (scientific probe of the 'Shiva Linga') to this effect was earlier made before the Varanasi Court in September 2022, however, the same was rejected taking into account the Supreme Court's May 17 order to protect the spot where the "Shiva Linga" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

"If Carbon Dating or Ground Penetrating Radar is permitted and if any damage is caused to the 'Shiva Linga' then it would be a violation of the Supreme Court order to protect it and it might also hurt the religious sentiments of the general public," remarked the Varanasi Court while dismissing HIndu worshippers' plea.

Challenging that order, the instant revision plea was moved before the High Court last year in November.

Case title - Smt. Laxmi Devi And 3 Others. v. State Of U.P Thru Principal Sec.(Civil Sec.) Lko. Nd 5 Otrs

Click here To Read/Download Order

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