No Extra Time, File Report on Shivlinga Probe in Gyanvapi Case by November 30, HC tells ASI DG

The Hindu plaintiffs in the suit before the Varanasi Court are seeking scientific investigation of the black stone (alleged Shivlinga) found at Gyanvapi to determine its age, nature and other constituents.

The Allahabad High Court on Monday refused to grant three more months to the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to submit her opinion as to whether a safe investigation of the structure (alleged Shivlinga) found at Gyanvapi, for evaluation of its age, is possible by any scientific method or not.

A bench of Justice JJ Munir posted the matter on November 30 for further hearing while asking the Director General of the ASI to file her reply by then.

The structure, which was found during a court-ordered survey of the Gyanvapi, is alleged to be a Shivlinga by the Hindu side, and a fountain by the mosque side.

The single-judge bench is dealing with the civil revision petition filed by the Hindu plaintiffs against the order of District Judge, Varanasi dated October 14. The district judge had dismissed the Hindu plaintiffs’ application seeking scientific probe of the structure.

The district judge had held that since the Supreme Court had ordered to protect the place where the alleged Shivlinga was found, the plea for its ‘scientific investigation’ could not be allowed. The judge had also observed that the scientific examination, as sought, may damage the structure.

However, the Hindu plaintiffs moved the high court contending that the order was based on a prior reasoning that a scientific investigation of the alleged Shivlinga would lead to its damage.

On May 16, during a survey by the court-appointed commission, a Shivlinga-like structure was found inside the Wazookhana of the mosque complex.

On the same day, Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar passed an order to seal the disputed site at the complex. The matter reached the top court and a division bench while upholding the order of the Varanasi court to protect the area modified it to the extent that the local court’s direction in any manner will not restrain access of Muslims to the mosque or use of it for performing prayers and religious activities.

Subsequently, the Hindu side moved an application seeking scientific investigation of the alleged Shivlinga without causing any damage to the structure.

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