Kashi Vishwanath Case: Allahabad High Court Raps ASI Over ‘Lethargic Attitude’ In Submitting Report
The Allahabad High Court on Wednesday (5 April) criticised the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for failure to submit a reply on whether a safe evaluation of the age of the ‘Shivling’ found inside the Gyanvapi mosque is possible.
Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra called the ASI’s ‘lethargic’ attitude ‘deplorable’ and said that such attitude ‘must be deprecated’.
While the bench granted another chance to ASI to submit its report, it asked ASI to expedite the process and not delay the matter any further.
The High Court is currently hearing a revision plea challenging the Varanasi Court’s order of 14 October 2022, wherein the local court had rejected Hindu worshippers’ plea for conducting a scientific probe of the ‘Shivling’.
The Revisionists (Laxmi Devi and others) moved the HC seeking a direction to the ASI to conduct a scientific probe of the Shivling through carbon dating, Ground Penetration Radar (GPR), and Excavation.
They further sought a direction to ASI to give its opinion on the age, nature, and other constituents of the ‘Shivling’ using the above-mentioned methods.
The Varanasi Court had said that “If carbon dating or GPR is permitted and if any damage is caused to the ‘Shivling’, then it would be a violation of the Supreme Court’s order to protect it and it might also hurt the religious sentiments of the general public”.
However, the revisionists have contested that only a scientific survey could bring forth correct information on the ‘Shivling’.
In November last year, the HC sought a response from the DG, ASI on whether a safe evaluation of the age of the ‘Shivling’ could be conducted. In January, it granted eight weeks to the ASI to submit its report.
The matter will next be heard on 17 April by which time ate DG has to file her response.
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