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BREAKING | [Gyanvapi] Varanasi Court Rejects Hindu Worshippers' Plea For Scientific Probe Into 'Shiva Linga' In View Of SC Order

Sparsh Upadhyay
14 Oct 2022 9:16 AM GMT
Gyanvapi, Gyanvapi Mosque, Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee, SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION, COMMISSION, Hindu Worshippers, Carbon Dating, shiva linga, Varanasi Court, Notice, Masjid Committee, District Judge AK Vishvesha, Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991,
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The Court rejected the plea in view of the Supreme Court's May 17 order to protect the spot where a "shiv ling" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

In a significant order, the Varanasi Court has rejected a plea moved by the Hindu worshippers seeking a scientific investigation into 'Shiva Linga', reportedly found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises. The Court rejected the plea 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

The Hindu worshippers had sought a scientific investigation to determine the age of the structure in question 'Shiva Linga' (as claimed by the Hindu worshippers). It may further be noted that the Anjuman Masjid committee has been calling the structure in question as 'Fauwara/Fountain'

District Judge AK Vishvesha today REJECTED Hindu worshippers' plea after hearing the objections of the Anjuman Intezamia Committee (which manages Gyanvapi mosque) objected to the plea moved by Hindu worshippers.

"It will not be 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," remarked the Varanasi Court.

It may be noted that earlier, on October 7, the Varanasi Court had deferred the hearing on the plea after seeking clarifications from the parties on the following two points:

* Whether the structure found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises [alleged Shiva Linga] is a part of this suit property or not?

* Can the court issue a commission for scientific investigation?

The counsels for the Hindu Worshippers had submitted before the Court that the structure ('Shiva Linga') is a part of the suit/case property as its original pleadings state that the suit relates to visible or invisible deities and since the alleged Shiva Linga became visible during the court-appointed survey, the same would definitely be a suit property.

It was also clarified that under Order 26 Rule 10A of CPC, the Court has the power to the Court to issue a commission for scientific investigation. Now, today, the Mosque committee filed its reply in the matter.

Further, on October 11, the Anjuman Intezamia Committee (which manages Gyanvapi mosque) had objected to the demand of the Hindu worshippers seeking a scientific probe into the structure in question.

Background of the case

Our readers may note that out of the five Hindu women (plaintiffs) in the main suit, 4 women have moved the instant plea for a scientific investigation of the Shiva Linga allegedly found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises. One of the plaintiffs (Rakhi Singh) had opposed the plea for Carbon dating.

It may be noted that the 4 plaintiffs have moved an application under Order 26 Rule 10A of CPC which provides the power to the Court to issue a commission for scientific investigation.

This plea had been moved 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.

Read more about the Court's order here: Plaint Avers Hindu Deities Were Worshipped Inside Gyanvapi Mosque Complex Even After Aug 15, 1947; Places Of Worship Act No Bar To Suit: Varanasi Court

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 reads.

The Court had also directed District Magistrate, Police Commissioner, and CRPF Commandment, Varanasi, to ensure the protection of the sealed place where Shivling has reportedly been found in the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Later on, the Supreme Court had clarified that the order passed by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Varanasi to protect the spot where a "shiv ling" was claimed to have been found during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque will not restrict the right of Muslims to access the mosque to offer namaz and to perform religious observances.

For the uninitiated, the Varanasi Court in April 2022 ordered an inspection of the premises on petitions moved by five Hindu women asking for year-long access to pray at a Hindu shrine behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi.


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