A petition filed before the court to know the age of a Holy Book, The High Court of Madras held that, “There is nothing wrong in sending samples of Holy Quran to know its age”
In the present case, Mr. A.M.S. Ameenullah wanted to know the age of the handwritten Holy Quran he was in possession of, written on a handmade paper. He had sent a request to the Superintendent of Archeologist, Chennai, to take a sample for testing and sending the same to the United Kingdom. Superintendent on rejecting the same, was challenged in front of a single bench judge who gave an order in favour of Ameenullah. The Superintendent filed an appeal in Madras High Court saying that as per S.24 of the Antiquities and Art Treasures Act, 1972, the Quran in question is an ‘antique’. In order to send a sample they’ll have tear a piece of paper which would constitute as damage to the book. If the antique is
destroyed or damaged, heavy penalty will be levied under Section 30 of The Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, 1958.Hence it was not possible to send a sample without destroying or damaging.He also added that there are many laboratories available in India that gives such facilities, and there was no need to send the same to the United Kingdom. Learned Counsel of Ameenullah, Mr.Narayan, argued that the owner himself has given the permission to take a sample from Quran, and taking a small piece of 2x1.5 cm from the blank page left would not amount to damage or destruction.He further submitted that no such proper laboratories were available in India with precisions as in the UK.
After hearing both the parties, Hon’ble Judge N.KIRUBAKARAN, directed Union of India to take 2 samples and seal the same in proper manner and send it to Ameenullah within 4 weeks. The Court also directed The Superintendent to send one sample to the Research Laboratory for Archeology University of Oxford, and second sample to the Director of Birbal Sahani Institute of Paleo Sciences,Lucknow ,for testing and carbon dating.The sample needs to be handed over back to Ameenullah within 3 weeks from the date of receiving the receipt of this copy.
Madras Court also pointed out that there is no malafide intention to damage the Holy Quran, and that there is nothing wrong in knowing the age of the Antique one is in possession of.Hence the appeal on the above ground was dismissed.