Gyanvapi case: Varanasi court rejects plea to conduct carbon dating test of “shivling”

Mosque management authority sees this as a positive development; petitioners to appeal against order in SC

Carbon Dating Test
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In a huge setback for the petitioners in the Shringar Gauri case, a Varanasi court has rejected their plea to conduct carbon dating of a structure discovered in the Wazu Khana (ablution tank) of the Gyanvapi mosque. District Judge Ajay Krishna Vishwesha cited the possibility of causing damage to the structure as the reason for rejecting the plea. The Supreme Court had previously ordered that the structure and the spot where it was found be protected from damage.

The structure was discovered during a video survey in May this year. The petitioners had claimed that the structure is a “Shivling” (a symbol representing the Hindu deity Shiva and considered holy by Hindus), and therefore proof that it was part of a Hindu temple that had existed on the site prior to the construction of the mosque.

However, the Anjuman Intezamia Masjid (AIM), which is the Gyanvapi mosque management authority, had dismissed the structure as part of a defunct fountain. Two mahants associated with the Kashi Vishwanath temple had also debunked the “Shivling” claims.

After AIM’s plea challenging the maintainability of the main Shringar Gauri suit under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC) was dismissed by the court, the petitioners moved an application requesting carbon dating and other scientific tests be conducted on the “shivling” to determine its age and authenticity.

On September 22, four out of the five original petitioners in the Shringar Gauri case- Rekha Pathak, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas and Laxmi Devi – had moved a plea through their lawyer Vishnu Shakar Jain, seeking directions to conduct a carbon dating test on the structure. It is noteworthy that the fifth petitioner Rakhi Singh, had opposed carbon dating saying it would offend the sensibilities of Hindu devotees as it could desecrate the idol. AIM had also opposed the proposal to conduct carbon dating.

The court heard arguments from all sides and had reserved its order on September 29, and was first expected to deliver its verdict on October 7, but it was deferred to October 11, when the court sought information on the possibility of the structure getting damaged due to the scientific test. This is noteworthy because previously the Supreme Court had passed an order directing that the structure and the area surrounding it be protected from damage.

Speaking to SabrangIndia, S M Yasin, general secretary of AIM, said, “It is a positive development. We hope for many more such positive developments in the wider case.”

Meanwhile, news agency ANI quoted Advocate Vishnu Jain as saying, “We’ll move to Supreme Court against this order, and challenge it there.”

Meanwhile, it is also noteworthy that this is not the first time a plea has been made for scientific investigation of the “shivling”. In July this year, seven Hindu women including an advocate, a professor and five social workers, all represented by advocate Vishnu Jain had moved Supreme Court demanding carbon dating of the structure discovered during the video survey. The petitioners had also demanded a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey of the area. Further, they sought directions from the Supreme Court to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple Trust to take over the “Shivling” and the adjacent area, claiming that the deity had dominion over five kos or 15 kilometers of peripheral land.

But on July 21, a bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant and PS Narasimha refused to entertain the petition, which was subsequently withdrawn with liberty to pursue suitable legal recourse.


Gyanvapi case: Order in “shivling” carbon dating matter deferred
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Gyanvapi case: Court dismisses mosque committee’s plea challenging maintainability of suit
Gyanvapi case: Plea before SC for carbon dating of “Shivling”



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