Gyanvapi carbon dating

Gyanpavi: HC Seeks ASI Affidavit On Conducting Carbon Dating Of Shivling

Allahabad High Court on Monday asked the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to file an affidavit on whether the ‘carbon dating of the purported ‘Shivling’ found inside the premises of the Gyanvapi Mosque, can be conducted without defacing its shape.

The High Court directed the ASI to file its affidavit on the next date of hearing — November 30.
The HC was hearing a review petition filed by Lakshmi Devi and three others, challenging the Varanasi district court’s order of a ‘scientific survey’ of the purported Shivling, which is claimed to be a part of the fountain of the wazu khana by the mosque management.

In its order on Monday, the single bench of Justice JJ Muneer asked the ASI to confirm if ‘carbon dating’, a method to determine an object’s age, can be conducted without defacing the purported Shivling.

“The subordinate court has rejected the application for conducting a scientific survey in view of the status quo order issued by the Supreme Court. Apprehension has been expressed that carbon dating may damage the alleged Shivling,” the bench stated, adding that it was necessary to determine the age of the ‘Shivling’ without deforming its shape.

The counsel for the petitioners, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, said only a scientific survey (carbon dating) can bring forth correct information on the ‘Shivling’ found in the Gyanvapi mosque complex, along with other religious items.

It will also establish beyond any reasonable doubt how old the ‘Shivling’ and other idols found there are, the counsel for the petition further submitted.

Earlier, the petitioners had filed an application in the district court, Varanasi seeking a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex.

The court, however, rejected the plea on October 14 saying that doing so could damage the structure.

The single-bench of the Allahabad HC on Monday also directed the principal secretary of the Department of Religious Affairs, Uttar Pradesh, to file an affidavit on the government’s position or stand in the matter on the next date of hearing — November 30.

The chief standing counsel of the state government, Pancham Bipin Bihari Pandey, was directed to clarify the government’s stand by filing an affidavit on behalf of the principal secretary, Department of Religious Affairs, UP.

Advocate Manoj Singh, appearing for the Union government, had sought three months’ time to clarify its position on the matter. However, the court directed that an affidavit is to be filed by November 30. (ANI)

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Shivling gyanvapi case

Hearing Of Plea Seeking Worship Of Shivling In Gyanvapi Premises Adjourned To Nov 14

A fast-track court in Varanasi on Tuesday adjourned the matter for November 14 on the plea seeking worship of the ‘Shivling’ that the Hindu side claimed to be found on the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

The matter was adjourned for November 14 as the concerned judge would not sit in the Fast Track court today.
The Court was supposed to deliver its verdict on the three main demands by the plaintiff which include the permission for the immediate beginning of prayer of Swayambhu Jyotirlinga Bhagwan Vishweshwar, the handing over of the entire Gyanvapi complex to the Hindus, and banning the entry of Muslims inside the premises of the Gyanvapi complex.

It is to be noted that the Muslim side is allowed to offer prayers at present.

During the previous hearing that took place in October, the Varanasi court had refused to allow a ‘scientific investigation’ of the purported ‘Shivling’.

The Hindu side had demanded carbon dating of the structure they claimed to be a Shivling found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque’s wazukhana.

However, the Muslim side said that the structure found was a ‘fountain’. The Hindu side had then submitted an application in the Varanasi District Court on September 22 that sought a carbon dating of the object they claimed to be ‘Shivling’.

The Hindu side said that they would approach the Supreme Court against the Varanasi court’s verdict refusing to allow a ‘scientific investigation’ of the purported ‘Shivling’, claiming to be found on the Gyanvapi mosque premises.

On September 29 hearing, the Hindu side had demanded a scientific investigation of the ‘Shivling’ by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the carbon dating of ‘Argha’ and the area around it.

The Varanasi court said, “It would not be proper to order the survey of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and by giving such order the age, nature, and structure of the said Shivling is known, even this does not imply the possibility of a just solution”.

Advocate Vishnu Jain, representing the side in the Gyanvapi case, “Court has rejected our demand of seeking carbon dating. We’ll move to Supreme Court against this order and challenge it there. I cannot announce the date as of now, but we’ll soon challenge this order in Supreme Court.”

Another lawyer of the Hindu side Madan Mohan Yadav said, “Though the court has rejected the demand of seeking carbon dating, the option of going to the High Court is available and the Hindu side will place their point before the High Court as well.”

Referring to the order of May 17 of the Supreme Court, the Varanasi Court had said that “If the alleged Shivling is damaged by taking samples, then it will be in violation of the order of the Supreme Court”.

“If the Shivling is damaged, the religious sentiments of the general public can also get hurt”, the Varanasi Court had said.

Carbon dating is a scientific process that ascertains the age of an archaeological object or archaeological finds.

After hearing both sides’ arguments, the court had reserved the order in the Gyanvapi Mosque-Shringar Gauri case.

On May 20, the Supreme Court had ordered the transfer of the case related to worship at Gyanvapi mosque from the civil judge to the District Judge, Varanasi.

Akhlaq Ahmed, representing the Muslim side had said that the plea by the Hindu side is not maintainable as it is against the order of the Supreme Court that stated protecting the structure (which the Muslim side claims to be a fountain and the Hindu side claims to be a Shivling).

“We responded to the application on carbon dating. Stone does not have the capacity to absorb carbon. The Supreme Court in its May 17 order, according to which, the object that the commission found, had to be protected. The order of the SC will prevail, so the object cannot be opened. According to the Hindu side, the process will be scientific, even if it is so, there will be tampering with the object. Chemicals will be used for the test. We will take action based on the order by the court on October 14,” Ahmed had told ANI.

Another lawyer representing the Muslim side, Tohid Khan had said, “The court will deliver its verdict on whether the application seeking carbon dating is acceptable or should be rejected. The structure is a fountain and not Shivling. The fountain can still be made operational.” (ANI)

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