Gyanvapi case: HC seeks affidavit on conducting carbon dating of ‘Shivling’
22 November, 2022 | Vaishali Sharma
The ASI was directed by the Allahabad HC on Monday to file an affidavit on whether the 'carbon dating' of the putative 'Shivling' found inside the grounds of the Gyanvapi Mosque can be undertaken w...
The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) was directed by the Allahabad High Court on Monday to file an affidavit on whether the ‘carbon dating’ of the putative ‘Shivling’ found inside the grounds of the Gyanvapi Mosque can be undertaken without defacing its shape.
The High Court ordered the ASI to file its affidavit by the next hearing date, November 30. The HC was hearing a review plea brought by Lakshmi Devi and three others, which challenged the Varanasi district court’s order of a’scientific assessment’ of the supposed Shivling, which the mosque administration claims is part of the fountain of the wazu khana.
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.
Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, counsel for the petitioners, stated that only a scientific assessment (carbon dating) can provide accurate information on the ‘Shivling’ located in the Gyanvapi mosque complex, together with other sacred objects.
It will also show without any reasonable question the age of the ‘Shivling’ and other idols discovered there, according to the petition’s lawyers.
Previously, the petitioners sought a scientific examination of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex before the district court of Varanasi.
However, on October 14, the court denied the request, stating that doing so would endanger the structure.
The Allahabad High Court’s single bench further instructed the principal secretary of the Uttar Pradesh Department of Religious Affairs to file an affidavit on the government’s stance or stand in the issue on the next date of hearing, November 30.
Pancham Bipin Bihari Pandey, the state government’s main standing counsel, was instructed to clarify the government’s position by presenting an affidavit on behalf of the senior secretary, Department of Religious Affairs, UP.
The Union government, represented by Advocate Manoj Singh, has requested three months to clarify its position on the case. The judge, however, ordered that an affidavit be filed by November 30.