The Supreme Court on Friday (19 May) will consider a petition challenging the Allahabad High Court's 12 May order to carry out a scientific investigation to determine the age of a 'Shivling' discovered at the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi.
On Thursday, a bench led by Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and including justices P S Narasimha and J B Pardiwala considered the arguments of senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi, representing the Gyanvapi mosque management committee, and scheduled a hearing for Friday.
The high court overturned a Varanasi district court's decision that rejected a request for scientific examination, such as carbon dating, of a structure discovered during a court-ordered inspection of the Gyanvapi mosque situated adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath temple in May 2022.
A local court in Varanasi agreed on 16 May to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi mosque by the Archeological Survey of India, following a high court order.
Lawyer Vishnu Shankar Jain, representing the Hindu side, had his petition accepted by the District Court Judge A K Vishvesh, who instructed the Gyanvapi mosque committee to respond to the plea by 19 May.
The next hearing on the matter has been scheduled for 22 May.
Earlier, on 12 May, the high court instructed the Varanasi district judge to investigate the Hindu worshippers' request for a scientific inquiry into the 'Shivling', following the established legal process.
The Shivling, as claimed by Hindu petitioners, should not be harmed as per the high court order.
The mosque authorities argue that the structure is part of a fountain in the 'wazu khana', where ablutions are performed before namaz.
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