Gyanvapi mosque (File)
A Varanasi court on Monday fixed March 21 for the next hearing on a petition seeking to open and survey two basements in the Gyanvapi-Shringar Gauri complex, a government lawyer said.
District government counsel Mahendra Pandey said Varanasi District Judge A K Vishvesh posted the matter after almost two months as the Allahabad High Court last week postponed hearing in a related matter by eight weeks.
The High Court case relates to the demand of carbon dating of an object, said to be a ‘shivling’, found during a court-mandated survey of the complex. The plea for carbon dating was earlier filed by the Hindu side in the district court which had rejected the demand. The petitioners then filed a revision plea in the Allahabad High Court.
The High Court on January 19 granted eight more weeks to the Archaeological Survey of India for filing its response to clarify whether the carbon dating of the claimed ‘shivling’ could damage it or if safe evaluation of its age was possible.
Justice J J Munir fixed March 20 as the next date of hearing after the counsel for ASI sought more time to file its response.
Mr Pandey said that in view of this, the district judge on Monday fixed March 21 as the next date of hearing in the basements case.
The lawyer of the Hindu side has demanded in the court of district judge that the locks of the closed ‘tehkhana‘ (cellars) of the Gyanvapi complex be opened and a survey conducted. The Muslim side had presented its objection to this request.
Now, the Hindu side has to present its response to this.
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