The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed two petitions that sought directions to conserve the “artefacts and sculptures” that have emerged during the levelling of ground for the Ram Temple in Ayodhya and called this an attempt to overreach its verdict in the Ayodhya case.
“These are frivolous petitions to get rid of the judgment of this court…what respect do you have for the system?… We will direct investigation against the petitioners…what nonsense… We will order CBI investigation against (the) petitioners,” Justice Arun Mishra, heading a three-judge bench, remarked.
The bench, also comprising Justices B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh each on the two petitioners: Satish Chindhuji Shambharkar and others, and Dr Ambedkar Bodhikunja Foundation.
Senior advocate Menaka Guruswamy, who appeared for Shambharkar and others, pleaded that the fine may not be imposed, but the bench did not relent. The plea by Shambharkar said he was associated with an organisation called ‘Samyak Vishwa Sangh’, which is “dedicated to study of ancient caves and artefacts at various ancient caves and museums in India”. Referring to recovery of sculptures and other material in May this year “at the time of leveling and excavating the land…for construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya”, the petitioner said these are “remains of rich ancient Indian culture, and therefore are required to be protected and scientific, archeological research at to their origin is required to be made”.
The petition stated, “However, it is learnt that those artefacts and sculptures are projected as shivling and the remains of Hindu culture and religion without any scientific, archeological research, study and analysis…” It said although the site has “many histories and ancient stories”, digging and leveling of land was “not done under the observation” of the Archeological Survey of India, which is “competent authority for protection and conservation of ancient sites and monuments”. It said the organisation had made representations to the ASI, but there has been “no reply… till date”.
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