Gyanvapi-Kashi Vishwanath: Supreme Court to hear plea for extension of order protecting 'Shivling' found during survey

The plea was mentioned in light of the fact that the order protecting the object was due to expire on November 12.
Kashi Vishwanath Gyan Vapi, Supreme Court
Kashi Vishwanath Gyan Vapi, Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear on Friday a plea filed by the Hindu parties seeking extension of the order protecting the object found during a survey conducted at the Gyanvapi Mosque, touted to be a 'Shivling'.

The matter was mentioned today by Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain before a Bench headed by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, who said,

"We will constitute a bench for hearing tomorrow at 3 pm itself."

Jain had mentioned the plea in light of the fact that the order protecting the object was due to expire on November 12. He also pointed out that the Order 7 Rule 11 (rejection of plaints) application filed by the Muslim parties was rejected.

Last month, a Varanasi Court rejected a the plea filed by the Hindu parties seeking directions to the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific investigation to ascertain whether the object found during the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque premises is a Shivling or a fountain. This prompted an appeal before the Allahabad High Court.

The High Court last week asked the Director General of ASI to submit his opinion on whether carbon dating, Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), excavation and other methods to determine the age of the disputed object at Gyanvapi mosque, would damage the object.

The Gyanvapi dispute arose when Hindu devotees approached a civil court claiming the right to worship inside the premises of the Gyanvapi Mosque, on the ground that it was a Hindu temple and still houses Hindu deities.

The civil court ordered a survey of the Mosque by an advocate commissioner. The advocate commissioner then conducted the videographed survey and submitted a report to the civil court.

Based on the survey report, the Hindu parties claimed that an object discovered at the site is a Shivling. The Muslim parties, however, disputed the same and said that it is only a water fountain.

Meanwhile, the suit before the civil court was transferred to the District Judge by the Supreme Court on May 20 in view of the sensitivity of the issue involved.

The District Court, on September 12, held that the suit was not barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

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