Varanasi: A Varanasi court deferred the hearing to December 22 of a plea seeking the filing of a case against Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi for allegedly hurting religious sentiments of the people of Kashi by making controversial remarks.
The SP and AIMIM chiefs made the alleged controversial remarks regarding the Shivling-like structure found in the Gyanvapi mosque compound during a court-ordered survey on May 16 this year to December 22.
The hearing was deferred due to the condolence announced after the death of a senior lawyer.
Earlier, the SP chief stoked a controversy after his remarks on the Shivling-like structure. He had said, “In our Hinduism, place a stone anywhere, install a red flag there, under a peepal tree, and it becomes a temple,” he said.
The AIMIM Chief Owaisi had earlier said that a Shivling-like structure found in Gyanvapi mosque “was not a Shivling but a fountain”.
Notably, more than half a dozen cases have been filed in the court on the Gyanvapi case and hearing of all these is going on in different courts. Now, the court will deliver a verdict on hearing many cases of one nature together.
The Supreme Court on November 11 had extended its earlier order to protect the area where the ‘Shivling’ was stated to be discovered at the Gyanvapi Mosque complex during the court survey.
During the previous hearings in the Varanasi court, it had refused to allow a “scientific investigation” of the purported ‘Shivling’.
The Hindu side had demanded carbon dating of the structure they claimed to be a Shivling found inside the Gyanvapi Mosque’s wazukhana.
However, the Muslim side said that the structure found was a ‘fountain’. The Hindu side had then submitted an application in the Varanasi District Court on September 22 that sought a carbon dating of the object they claimed to be ‘Shivling’.
The Hindu side said that they would approach the Supreme Court against the Varanasi court’s verdict refusing to allow a ‘scientific investigation’ of the purported ‘Shivling’, claiming to be found on the Gyanvapi mosque premises.
On September 29 hearing, the Hindu side demanded a scientific investigation of the ‘Shivling’ by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and the carbon dating of ‘Argha’ and the area around it.
The Varanasi court said, “It would not be proper to order the survey of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and by giving such order the age, nature, and structure of the said Shivling is known, even this does not imply the possibility of a just solution”.
Advocate Vishnu Jain, representing the side in the Gyanvapi case, “Court has rejected our demand of seeking carbon dating. We’ll move to Supreme Court against this order and challenge it there. I cannot announce the date as of now, but we’ll soon challenge this order in Supreme Court.”
Another lawyer of the Hindu side Madan Mohan Yadav said, “Though the court has rejected the demand of seeking carbon dating, the option of going to the High Court is available and the Hindu side will place their point before the High Court as well.”
Referring to the order of May 17 of the Supreme Court, the Varanasi Court said, “If the alleged Shivling is damaged by taking samples, then it will be in violation of the order of the Supreme Court”.
“If the Shivling is damaged, the religious sentiments of the general public can also get hurt”, the Varanasi Court had said.
After hearing both sides’ arguments, the court reserved the order in the Gyanvapi Mosque-Shringar Gauri case.
On May 20, the Supreme Court ordered the transfer of the case related to worship at Gyanvapi mosque from the civil judge to the District Judge, Varanasi.
Notably, Akhlaq Ahmed, representing the Muslim side had said that the plea by the Hindu side is not maintainable as it is against the order of the Supreme Court that stated protecting the structure (which the Muslim side claims to be a fountain and the Hindu side claims to be a Shivling).