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Gyanvapi: Varanasi court rejects plea for scientific analysis of shivling

A Varanasi court on Friday rejected the petition filed by Hindu worshippers, seeking carbon dating and other scientific tests of the structure found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque complex, which they claimed to be a Shivling.

District Judge A.K. Vishvesha cited the Supreme Court order, which had directed sealing of the place where the Shivling was found. He observed that in light of the Apex Court verdict, no scientific investigation could be allowed.

The Hindu side had claimed that the carbon dating would have been instrumental in determining the age of the structure, which was found in the Wazookhana or reservoir of the Mosque during the survey work on May 16.

The Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee, which has been managing the Gyanvapi Mosque for several years, had raised objection to the plea moved by the Hindu worshippers, calling the structure in question as fauvara (fountain). 

The Hindu side had contended that the object discovered at the site after survey by an Advocate Commissioner was a Shivling, an object of worship for Hindu devotees and has been existing within the premises in question since time immemorial.

They argued that with the aim to do complete justice and provide a remedy to a large number of Lord Shiv worshippers, it was necessary that the Court directed the ASI to find the nature and age of the same.

The plea further contended that for proper adjudication of the case, it was necessary that a scientific investigation was made regarding the length, width, height, age, make-up and constituents of the Shivling.

The Varanasi court had, on October 7, deferred its order to October 11 after the Anjuman Intezamia Mosque Committee sought time to respond to two clarifications raised by the Court:

These were:

a) Whether the Shiva Linga (reported to be found) inside the Gyanvapi Mosque premises was a part of suit property or not?

b) Does the court have power to direct ‘scientific investigation’ of the alleged structure?

Representing the Hindu devotees (plaintiffs), Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain had contended that the Shivalinga (reported to be found) was a part of the suit property.

To the second query of the Court, Jain had said that by virtue of Order 26 Rule 10A of the Civil Procedure Code 1908, the Court had the power to direct ‘scientific investigation’ of Shivling reportedly found in the Gyanvapi Mosque premises during the survey.

The Gyanvapi dispute started when Hindu devotees approached a civil court claiming the right to worship inside the premises of Gyanvapi Mosque on the ground that it was a Hindu temple and still housed Hindu deities.

The civil court ordered a survey of the Mosque by an Advocate Commissioner, who conducted a videographed survey and submitted a report to the civil court.

The Supreme Court transferred the suit before the civil court to the District Judge on May 20, in view of the sensitivity of the issue involved.

On September 12, the District Court ruled that the suit was not barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

The Hindu parties then moved the present application before the Court seeking carbon dating.

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