The Allahabad High Court on Thursday extended its stay on the Varanasi Court’s order to direct the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to allow carbon dating on the alleged ‘Shivling’ inside the Gyanvapi mosque compound till October 31. The court has fixed October 18 as the next date of hearing. While the Gyanvapi Mosque Committee argued that the carbon dating shouldn’t be done as the alleged structure is a fountain inside the ‘wazookhana’, Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain has demanded a scientific probe into the ‘Shivling’ led by the ASI.
On August 30, the HC had extended the stay on the Varanasi court’s April 8, 2021 order till September 30.
Justice Prakash Padia, stating that a case of “national importance” and has been pending before the trial court since 1991, asked the Director General of ASI to present an affidavit till the next hearing date
“Since the matter is of national importance and fact that the suit is pending before the trial court since 1991, this court hopes and trust that the respondent No.7/the Director General, Archaeological Survey of India, New Delhi will comply with the order dated 12.09.2022 in its letter and spirit on or before the next date fixed in the matter, i.e., 18.10.2022,” the order read.
“The Hindu side demanded that the ASI conduct a scientific investigation of the ‘Shivling’. We have also demanded a carbon dating of Argha and the area around it,” Jain told a group of journalists outside the court complex, as reported by news agency ANI.
Earlier, Jain had called for an independent inquiry into the matter concerning the ‘Shivling.’
The suit was originally filed in 1991 before the Varanasi district court, seeking to restore the ancient half of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple at the site of the Gyanvapi Mosque, which, now, lies adjacent to the newly built Vishwanath temple. The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid had challenged the maintainability of the petition back in 1991.