[Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath Dispute] Varanasi Court Issues Notice to Masjid Committee for Carbon Dating of “Shivling”

Varanasi Civil Court has clearly clarified that archaeological survey of India is allowed to do its survey at the disputed land and the Uttar Pradesh government will have to bear all the cost of survey.

Sakina Tashrifwala

Published on: September 23, 2022 at 18:38 IST

In response to a petition from Hindu worshipers asking for the carbon dating of the “Shiva Linga’s” allegedly discovered within the Gyanvapi mosque complex, the Varanasi Court today issued a notice to the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee (which oversees the Gyanvapi Mosque).

District Judge AK Vishvesha has requested the committee’s objections and scheduled the subject for the following hearing to be decided on September 29.

With this, the court denied the Masjid committee’s request for eight weeks to prepare for the following hearing.

The Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee’s appeal (filed under Order 7 Rule 11 CPC) challenging the maintainability of the lawsuit filed by five Hindu women (plaintiffs) seeking the right to worship within the grounds of the Gyanvapi Mosque compound was rejected by the Varanasi Court ten days prior to the filing of this appeal.

When the court-appointed Advocate Commissioner stated that he had discovered a Shiva Linga inside the Gyanvapi Mosque grounds during the survey, the assertions of the Shiva Linga’s presence within the Gyanvapi Mosque premises came to light on May 16.

As a result, the Court had mandated that the location/area in question be sealed.

The operative part of the ruling states, “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 District Magistrate, Police Commissioner, and CRPF Commandment, Varanasi, were also given orders by the court to safeguard the security of the sealed location where a Shivling is rumoured to have been discovered during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

Later, the Supreme Court had stated explicitly that Muslims’ access to the mosque to perform religious observances such as namaz and offer namaz will not be restricted by the order made by the Civil Judge Senior Division at Varanasi to protect the area where a “shiv ling” was allegedly discovered during the survey of the Gyanvapi mosque.

For those who are unfamiliar, five Hindu ladies petitioned the Varanasi Court in April 2022 for permission to pray at a Hindu shrine located behind the western wall of the Gyanvapi Mosque compound throughout the year.

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