Varanasi: A fast-track court in Varanasi has deferred the pronouncement of verdict until November 14.
The court was to pronounce judgement on the maintainability of a plea seeking ban on entry of Muslims into the Gyanvapi mosque premises and its possession to worship the Shivling reportedly found there.
Muslim side is allowed to offer prayers
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’.
Hindu side to approach SC against Varanasi court’s verdict
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.
Hindu side plea not maintainable
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.”