20 May 2023

Supreme Court Stays Carbon Dating Of 'Shivling' Found In Gyanvapi Mosque; What Hindu Side Said?

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has stayed a scientific survey to determine the age of a “shivling” found at Varanasi’s Gyanvapi mosque. The court said implications of the Allahabad High Court order for it deserve closer scrutiny.

The HC on May 12 had ordered determination of the age of the “Shivling” through carbon dating. However, the mosque’s authorities have said the structure is part of a fountain in the “wazu khana”. The structure was found in May last year during a court-mandated survey of the Gyanvapi mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.

A bench headed by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud issued notices to the Centre, the UP Government and the Hindu petitioners on the plea of the Anjuman Islamia Masjid committee against the HC order for the “scientific survey” of the structure.

What did the lawyer of the mosque side say


On May 12, 2023, the Allahabad High Court of UP had given permission for scientific investigation of Shivling found from Gyanvapi. This decision of the High Court, was challenged by the Anjuman Islamia Masjid Committee (mosque side) in the country's top court. The petition of the committee was heard by a bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice KV Vishwanathan.

Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi appearing for the committee said that the court did not give them time to present their side. He said that earlier the decision was reserved in December 2022 only on the petition of the Masjid Committee in the High Court. Then on 11 May 2023, the ASI submitted the report to the court, and on 12 May the High Court ordered carbon dating. Means the court did not give us a chance to present our views, said the mosque committee.

Hindu side's lawyer assured

Hindu side's lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain while presenting his side in the Supreme Court said that ASI has said in his report that Shivling will not be harmed by its investigation. On this basis, the Allahabad High Court had given permission for carbon dating of Shivling. 

Earlier, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing in the court on behalf of the UP and the Central government, had expressed concern over the damage to the Shivling during the scientific investigation. Mehta told the court that the government also needed to find out whether scientific tests other than carbon dating could be conducted. To this, CJI Chandrachud said that the court was not against calling for the report from the ASI but the government should be given time to consider other options and issues. The CJI said that there is a need to be vigilant in these matters.

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