SC dismisses plea for Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah premises survey

ByAbraham Thomas
Sep 22, 2023 04:04 PM IST

The Allahabad high court registrar general told the Supreme Court that nearly 10 suits have been filed over the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah dispute

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking a scientific survey of the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah premises, leaving Allahabad high court to decide the issue. The high court is hearing suits over the matter.

The Supreme Court. (Hindustan Times)
The Supreme Court. (Hindustan Times)

“We feel we are not required to exercise jurisdiction, more so in the interim, as there are various issues at large pending before the Allahabad high court,” a bench of justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia said.

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The high court registrar general told the Supreme Court that nearly 10 suits have been filed over the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah dispute. On May 26, the high court directed all the suits to be heard together. The order came on a plea filed on behalf of the deity through the next friend (a term indicating legal representative) Ranjana Agnihotri, a lawyer.

Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust petitioned the Supreme Court court for the survey. Senior advocate Gaurav Bhatia, who appeared for the trust, said a Mathura court on March 31 refused to direct the survey. He told the court they subsequently moved the high court, which dismissed the appeal on July 10 finding no illegality in Mathura court’s order. Bhatia argued the high court cannot exercise jurisdiction over its own July 10 order.

The Eidgah committee informed the court that an appeal against the May 26 order consolidating all suits in the high court has been filed before the Supreme Court and is pending consideration.

The bench said, “Without prejudice to the rights and contentions of the parties here, the petition is dismissed....” It added it was for the high court to take a call to decide whichever way they wish to proceed.

In July, the top court said pendency in such matters creates disquiet. “Will it not be better for all stakeholders if the multiplicity of proceedings in such sensitive cases is avoided?”

Multiple suits regarding the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah land dispute are pending before courts in Mathura. They relate to 13.37-acre land on which a mosque stands. The mosque abuts the temple. The suits have sought to annul a compromise between the mosque committee and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh in 1968 allowing the mosque to continue at the place where it currently stands.

The mosque committee has argued that the suits are barred under the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, which protects the “character” of all places of worship existing as of August 15, 1947 barring the Ram Janmabhoomi land at Ayodhya.

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