Allahabad High Court lists the next hearing of Gyanvapi Masjid carbon dating matter on November 21
The Allahabad High Court has directed to present the petition on November 21 for hearing on the petition seeking conducting a scientific investigation including carbon dating of the Gyanvapi Masjid complex and notices have been issued to the opposition including the state government.
A Single Bench of Justice J.J Munir passed this order while hearing a Criminal Revision filed by Smt Laxmi Devi and 3 Otrs.
The revisionists’ who are plaintiffs of Original Suit, instituted for the purposes of enforcing the right to Darshan, Pooja, and all rituals of Maa Shringar Gauri, Lord Ganesha, Lord Hanuman and other visible and invisible deities situate at Settlement Plot, area and ward of Police Station Dashashwamedh Ghat, District Varanasi, have come up against the order of the District Judge, Varanasi dated 14.10.2022, rejecting their application.
By the said application made under Order XXVI Rule 10(a) read with Section 151 CPC, the plaintiff-revisionists have sought the following material reliefs:-
‘A) To make appropriate survey or undertake Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and/or excavation associating the petitioners to find out the nature of construction beneath the Shivlingam discovered on 16.05.2022 in the proceeding held by Advocate Commissioner at Settlement Plot No 9130 within the area of Ward and P.S Chowk, District Varanasi.
B) To make scientific investigation by carbon dating or otherwise to determine the age, nature and other constituents of the Shiva Lingam as discovered on 16.05.2022 in the proceedings held by the Advocate Commissioner at Settlement Plot No 9130 within the area of Ward and P.S Chowk, District Varanasi in accordance with the provisions of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958 and submit report in Court within the time provided by the Court.“
This prayer came to be made as a sequel to the find by the Advocate Commissioner, who had earlier been appointed where the Commissioner reported that a black stone structure was discovered submerged under water, which the plaintiffs said was a Shivlingam.
The Advocate Commissioner opined that the find looks the way generally a big Shivling does. The applicant further seeks opinion of the Archaeological Survey of India through the issue of a Commission for scientific investigation to determine the age, nature and other constituents of the Shivling, employing methods such as Carbon Dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Excavation.
The District Judge, Varanasi has rejected the aforesaid application primarily on the ground that the find by the Advocate Commissioner, which the plaintiffs claim to be a Shivlingam is required to be protected in terms of the Supreme Court’s order dated 20.05.2022. The scientific examination sought may damage it.
Hari Shankar Jain, Advocate along with Vishnu Shankar Jain, Counsel appearing for the Revisionists submitted that the order impugned is bad in law because it is based on a priori reasoning that a scientific investigation of the Shivling, claimed by the plaintiffs would lead to its damage and that would violate the Supreme Court’s order.
They urged that there is no basis to this apprehension because whether the Carbon Dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) and Excavation would indeed damage it can only be judged, based upon the opinion by the Archaeological Survey of India and not by assumption or conjecture.
The Court issued notice to the respondents. Necessary notices shall be handed over by the office to the Counsel for the Revisionists indicating that the Revision shall be listed on 21.11.2022.
In the meantime, the Court directed the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi, submit his opinion whether investigation of the structure found at site, subject matter of Original Suit if examined through the methods of Carbon Dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Excavation and other methods adopted to determine its age, nature and other relevant information is likely to damage it or a safe evaluation about its age can be done.
‘Let the said report be submitted by the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi by the next date fixed through the Registry.
In view of the assertion made by Hari Shankar Jain, Advocate at the Bar that the District Judge, Varanasi is proceeding with the suit and that may affect adversely the outcome of any possible scientific investigation by the Archaeological Survey of India, it is directed that the District Judge, Varanasi will fix a date in the suit in the first week of December, 2022′, the order reads.