Gyanvapi case | Masjid panel says plea for scientific investigation of ‘Shivling’ vague

While plaintiffs mentioned that they would like a carbon-dating test done on it, they later called for any investigation of the structure to determine its age, nature, and constituents as long as it does not damage it

October 12, 2022 06:59 am | Updated 04:04 pm IST - New Delhi:

The Gyanvapi Mosque. File

The Gyanvapi Mosque. File | Photo Credit: PTI

The Anjuman Intezamia Masjid Committee of the Gyanvapi mosque on Tuesday filed a rejoinder before the Varanasi district court, objecting to the application of some of the Hindu plaintiffs that seeks a “scientific investigation” of the disputed structure reportedly found inside the mosque during a video survey in May. 

On Tuesday, the Masjid panel, through its lawyers, argued that the plaintiffs’ plea for scientific investigation was “vague and immature” and should not be entertained for the lack of a specific prayer, senior advocate Mumtaz Ahmed, one of the lawyers representing the Masjid panel, told The Hindu.

“We had already said that any test on the structure would violate Supreme Court orders to protect the site,” he said.

Mr. Ahmed added, “We also argued that the structure in question was not the subject matter of the suit anyway and that should also be a ground on which the application should be discarded.” 

In the ongoing Gyanvapi mosque-Kashi Vishwanath temple dispute, four of the five Hindu plaintiffs had filed an application seeking an analysis of the above-mentioned disputed structure. While they had also mentioned that they would like a carbon-dating test done on it, the plaintiffs later called for any investigation of the structure to determine its age, nature, and constituents as long as it does not damage it. 

The Hindu plaintiffs have claimed that the structure was a ‘Shivling’, in the hopes that it would strengthen their case in the civil dispute. The Masjid panel has denied this, insisting that the structure was part of the fountain in the mosque’s wuzu khana. 

The Masjid panel had opposed carbon-dating earlier in the hearings, arguing that this test was not the scientifically appropriate one to determine the age of the structure. Following this, the plaintiffs had agreed to “any scientific investigation” that does not cause damage to the structure. 

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the four plaintiffs who had filed this application, said order had been reserved on the matter and was expected to be delivered on October 14, the next date of hearing.  

Fast-track court

Meanwhile, in a separate suit in the Gyanvapi dispute being heard by a fast-track court in Varanasi, the Masjid panel began its arguments challenging its maintainability. 

This suit was filed by Kiran Singh, related to plaintiff Rakhi Singh in the main suit, as the next friend of the deity, seeking interim rights to perform Hindu worship and rituals at the disputed site till the time the main suit is settled by the courts concerned. 

The Masjid panel had challenged the maintainability of this suit through an application under Order VII, Rule 11 of the Code of Civil Procedure, on which it began arguments on Tuesday. This matter is being heard on a day-to-day basis and will be taken up on Wednesday again. 

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