The Supreme Court on Friday deferred the "scientific survey", including carbon dating, of the "Shivling" said to have been found at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi during a videographic survey last year.
Supreme Court said, "Since the implications of the Allahabad High Court order that allowed carbon dating of the "Shivling" merit closer scrutiny, the implementation of the directions concerned in the order shall stand deferred till the next date."
During the survey, a structure -- claimed to be a "Shivling" by the Hindu side and a "fountain" by the Muslim side -- was found in the mosque premises on May 16 last year during a court-mandated survey of the mosque located next to the Kashi Vishwanath temple.
The mosque, situated adjacent to the renowned Kashi Vishwanath Temple, was part of the BJP's campaign during the 1980s and 90s, along with Ayodhya and Mathura, creating significant national attention.
The long-standing legal conflict intensified following the Supreme Court's verdict favoring a temple in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.
HC to Varanasi District court
The High Court on May 12 set aside the Varanasi District judge's order which had rejected the application for a scientific survey and carbon dating of the "Shivling" on October 14, 2022.
The High Court directed the Varanasi District judge to proceed, in accordance with the law, on the application by the Hindu worshippers for conducting a scientific probe of the "Shivling".
Petitioners Laxmi Devi and three others had filed a plea in the High Court, challenging the order lower court order.
ASI report suggestions
The ASI had submitted its report in the High Court in which it had described five ways through which scientific survey could be conducted without harming the structure. The report was prepared by experts from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee, IIT Kanpur and Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleobotany (BSIP), Lucknow. The HC in order asked ASI to follow the means provided in the report and conduct a scientific survey.
The case so far
Earlier, one Laxmi Devi had filed a writ petition in the court of District Judge, Varanasi in October last year demanding carbon dating of the structure found at the Gyanvapi mosque. The management committee of the mosque had claimed the structure to be the shower while the Hindu party had termed it Shivling. The Varanasi District Judge had turned down the demand and dismissed the writ after which the petitioner had moved to High Court.
The counsel for the Hindu party, Vishnu Jain said that the decision of the High Court is a victory for them. He said that ASI has stated in its report about many techniques that can find the nature of the object without harming it. According to him the scientific surveycan find out the age, nature and material of the Shivling.
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