The Allahabad High Court on Thursday said that the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) could not file its reply in the matter of scientific survey through carbon dating of Shivlinga figure found in Gyanvapi campus of Varanasi. The ASI sought more time from the court to file its reply. The court has given eight weeks time to the ASI to reply. Along with this, the hearing of the case of Rakhi Singh going on in the court of Varanasi District Judge has been stayed till March 20. The court has directed the Varanasi court to conduct the hearing only after March 20.
The court has asked the petitioners whether due to the pendency of the matter in the Supreme Court, the hearing can be held in the High Court or not. This petition has been filed on behalf of Lakshmi Devi, Sita Sahu, Manju Vyas and Rekha Pathak, demanding a scientific survey of the Shivlinga figure found during the commission proceedings in the Gyanvapi campus by the ASI.
During the proceedings of the commission on 16 May 2022, a Shivling figure was found there. This petition has been filed after the District Judge’s court ordered not to allow its carbon dating.
Significantly, on October 14, 2022, the District Judge Varanasi rejected the application demanding carbon dating. Apprehensions were expressed that carbon dating may damage the Shivling sculpture. The High Court had asked the ASI whether carbon dating could be done without causing damage. The next hearing of the case will be on March 20.