The Supreme Court on Friday stayed the Allahabad High Court order allowing the scientific survey, including carbon dating, of a Shivling said to have been found at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi.
A bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha, and Justice KV Viswanathan said that the implementation of the directions contained in the High Court’s order shall stand deferred till the next date of hearing.
“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,” the bench said.
The bench bench headed by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud also issued notices to the Centre, the Uttar Pradesh government and the Hindu petitioners on the mosque panel’s plea against the high court order for the scientific survey and carbon dating of Shivling.
The apex court was hearing a plea challenging the high court order of conducting a scientific survey to determine the age of the structure claimed to be a Shivling in the mosque in Varanasi using modern technology.
On May 12, the Allahabad high court ordered the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct carbon dating of what Hindu religious groups have claimed is a shivling inside the Gyanvapi mosque, without causing any harm to the structure.
The Muslims, however, say it is part of a fountain in the ‘wazu khana’, where ablutions are performed before namaz.
Carbon dating is a scientific method of calculating the age of very old objects by measuring the amounts of different forms of carbon in them.
Following the Allahabad high court order, a local court at Varanasi on May 16 agreed to hear an appeal for a survey by the ASI of the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises.
Gyanvapi Mosque: Allahabad HC Allows Scientific Investigation Of ‘Shivling’ By ASI
Considering the petition filed by lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, who represents the Hindu side, the court asked the Gyanvapi mosque committee to file its reply to the plea by May 19. The court will now take up the matter on May 22.
On May 12, the HC directed the Varanasi district judge to proceed, in accordance with law, on the application by the Hindu worshippers for conducting a scientific probe of the Shivling.
The high court passed the order on a revision petition filed by four women challenging the Varanasi court order.