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Gyanvapi | "Need 3 Months' Time To Report On Method To Determine 'Shiva Linga' Age Sans Causing Any Damage": ASI To Allahabad HC

Sparsh Upadhyay
2 Dec 2022 11:37 AM GMT
GYANVAPI mosque dispute, Allahabad High Court, 8 Weeks Time, Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI), Reply, Safe Evaluation, Shiva Linga Age,

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) on Wednesday submitted before the Allahabad High Court that it needs a 3 months' time to report on the feasibility of carrying out any kind of investigation to determine the age of the alleged 'Shiva Linga' found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises without causing any damage to it.

This submission was made before the bench of Justice J. J. Munir which is currently hearing a plea challenging the Varanasi Court's October 14 order rejecting 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 while admitting the plea last month, the Allahabad High Court had sought an opinion of the Director General of the ASI as to whether a safe evaluation of the age of the 'Shiva Linga', purportedly found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, can be done.

"...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," the Court had inquired from the ASI on November 4 (complete report here).

Pursuant to this order, on the next hearing in the matter (November 21), the ASI informed the Court that it was still contemplating as to what methods could be employed to ascertain the age of the 'Shiva Linga' without damaging the structure. Thereafter, it had sought a 3 months time to submit a report in this regard, however, the Court had posted the matter for further hearing on November 30.

Now, when on November 30, the ASI again submitted that it needed 3 months' time to file a report, the Court thought it appropriate to adjourn the hearing by six weeks and now, the matter has been posted fur further hearing on January 18, 2023.

During the course of the hearing, Senior Counsel S.F.A. Naqvi appearing for the Anjuman Intezamia Masajid Committee said that the High Court cannot proceed with the instant revision plea, in view of the Supreme Court's order dated May 17, 2022, and a further order dated November 11, 2022, passed in Petition for Special Leave to Appeal (Civil) No. 9388 of 2022.

For context, on November 11, the Top Court extended the interim order passed by it on May 17, whereby directions were issued to protect the area where a "Shivling" was reported to have been found inside the mosque during a survey ordered by the Varanasi Civil Court.

Case title - Laxmi Devi And 3 Others. v. State Of U.P Thru Principal Sec.(Civil Sec.) Lko. Nd 5 Others [CIVIL REVISION No. - 114 of 2022]

Click here To Read/Download Order

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