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[Gyanvapi] Varanasi Court's Order Refusing Scientific Probe Into 'Shiva Linga' Challenged Before Allahabad HC, ASI Gets Notice

Sparsh Upadhyay
4 Nov 2022 2:52 PM GMT
GYANVAPI mosque dispute, Allahabad High Court, 8 Weeks Time, Archaeological Survey Of India (ASI), Reply, Safe Evaluation, Shiva Linga Age,

The Allahabad High Court today issued a notice to the Archaeological Survey Of India(ASI) on a plea moved before it challenging Varanasi Court's October 14 order wherein it had rejected Hindu worshippers' plea for a scientific probe into 'Shiva Linga' reportedly found inside Gyanvapi Mosque premises.

It may be noted that last month, the Varanasi Court had rejected Hindu worshippers' plea seeking a scientific investigation into 'Shiva Linga' in view of the Supreme Court's order to protect the spot where a "Shiv Linga" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque. Challenging that very order, one Laxmi Devi had moved to the High Court.

Issuing the notice to the ASI, the bench of Justice J. J. Munir has posted the matter for further hearing on November 21, 2022. Advocate Hari Shankar Jain appeared for the petitioner along with Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain.

The background of the case

Our readers may note that out of the five Hindu women (plaintiffs) in the main suit (seeking worshipping rights inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises), 4 women moved a plea before the Varanasi Court seeking a scientific investigation of the Shiva Linga allegedly found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises.

They moved an application under Order 26 Rule 10A of CPC (which provides the power to the Court to issue a commission for scientific investigation) 10 days after the Varanasi Court dismissed the Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee's plea (filed under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC) challenging the maintainability of the suit filed by five Hindu women (plaintiffs) seeking worshipping rights in the Gyanvapi Mosque compound.

However, the plea for a scientific investigation was dismissed by the Varanasi Court on October 14 in view of the Supreme Court's order to protect the spot where a "shiv ling" 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.

Read more about the Supreme Court's order here: Gyanvapi Mosque Case - Protect Area Where Shivalinga Is Stated To Be Found, No Restrictions On Muslims' Rights : Supreme Court Clarifies Varanasi Court's Order

District Judge AK Vishvesha, in his October 14 order, had further opined that it was not appropriate to direct the Archaeological Survey of India to determine the age, and nature of the 'Shiva Linga' and there is no possibility for the determination of the questions involved in the suit by way of this order.

Read more details of the VaranasiCourt's October 14 order here: [Gyanvapi] Varanasi Court Rejects Hindu Worshippers' Plea For Scientific Probe Into 'Shiva Linga' In View Of SC Order

It may be noted that the claims regarding the Shiva Linga's presence within the Gyanvapi Mosque premises were made prominently on May 16 when the court-appointed Advocate Commissioner had submitted that he had found a Shiva Linga inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey. Pursuant to this, the Court had ordered to seal the place/area concerned.

"The District Magistrate, Varanasi is ordered to immediately seal the place where the Shiva linga is found and the entry of any person is prohibited in the sealed place," the operative portion of the order read.

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