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Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath Row: Varanasi Court Defers Hearing on Plea for Scientific Analysis of ‘Shivalinga’ Till Oct 11

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Khushi Bajpai

Published on: October 8, 2022 at 18:29 IST

In the case of Smt. Rakhi Singh vs. State of UP, Hindu parties had asked the Varanasi Court to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to carry out a scientific investigation to determine whether an object discovered during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque grounds was a Shivalinga or a fountain.

District Judge Dr. AK Vishvesha scheduled the case for October 11, 2022, when he is anticipated to issue an order following a meeting with the Mosque Committee, which had asked for more time to answer the Court’s requests for the following two clarifications:

  1. Whether or not the Shiva Linga (said to have been discovered) inside the grounds of the Gyanvapi Mosque is a part of the suit property?
  2. Is it possible for the court to order a “scientific investigation” of the claimed structure?

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain stated in court on Friday on behalf of the Hindu Worshippers (plaintiffs) that the Shivalinga (claimed to have been found) is a piece of the suit property.

In response to the court’s second inquiry, Jain stated that Order 26 Rule 10A of the Civil Procedure Code 1908 gives the court the authority to order a “scientific investigation” into the Shivalinga that was allegedly discovered on the grounds of the Gyanvapi Mosque during the survey.

On October 11, the Court will hear from the Mosque Committee regarding these clarifications.

Relevantly, the Hindu parties dispute on the argument for scientific analysis.

The scientific investigation is supported by four of the five plaintiffs, while Rakhi Singh and the mosque committee oppose the claim.

The Hindu parties had petitioned the court, arguing that the object found at the site after an attorney commissioner’s survey is a Shiva Linga, a Hindu deity that has existed on the property in question from all of recorded time.

In light of this, it was contended that the Court must instruct the ASI to determine the nature and age of the same in order to deliver full justice and a remedy to a significant number of Lord Shiva worshipers.

The application stated that “a scientific study be performed into the length, width, height, age, make up, and elements of the Shivalingam is necessary for appropriate judgment of the issue.”

The Gyanvapi issue began when Hindu devotees petitioned a civil court, arguing that because the Gyanvapi Mosque was once a Hindu temple and still housing Hindu idols, they should be allowed to practice their religion there.

A survey of the mosque by an advocate commissioner was mandated by the civil court.

After conducting the videographic survey, the advocate commissioner provided a report to the civil court.

However, due to the delicate nature of the subject at hand, the Supreme Court on May 20 transferred the civil court’s case to the District Judge.

On September 12, the District Court ruled that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 did not preclude the lawsuit.

The Court then received the present application for carbon dating from the Hindu parties.