Mathura court dismisses plea for mosque removal, petitioners to move higher court
The lawyer of the petitioner whose suit filed on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah Masjid near Mathura’s Sri Krishna temple complex was dismissed by a local court has said they will now move a higher court against the dismissal.
Hari Shankar Jain, the lawyer, said he had left for Delhi after arguing the case and is still to study the reasons for the dismissal of the suit. “We would move an upper court if we failed to get justice from the lower court in Mathura.”
The suit was heard by Additional District Judge Chhaya Sharma, who refused to admit the suit citing the bar under the Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991.
The law was passed at the height of the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute and seeks to protect all religious structures as they existed at the time of Independence on August 15, 1947, with the exception of the disputed site at Ayodhya.
Since Ayodhya land was exempted, the Supreme Court had invoked this law in 2019 while awarding the disputed site at Ayodhya to child deity Ram Lalla while reaffirming that similar such cases cannot be entertained with respect to other sites in view of the law.
The suit claiming ownership of the entire land of 13.37 acres land which is believed to be the birthplace of Lord Sri Krishna, the 8th incarnation of Lord Vishnu, was filed on September 25 through the next friend of the child deity, one Ranjana Agnihotri, an advocate and a resident of Lucknow. Six other devotees were also plaintiffs to the suit.
They had sought cancellation of a settlement entered into between the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan which is the governing body of the temple complex and the Committee of Management of Trust of Shahi Idgah (Idgah Trust) in 1968.
The suit stated that Lord Shri Krishna was born in a prison of King Kans and the entire area under dispute is known as ‘Katra Keshav Dev’. Katra Keshav Dev is sacred for the devotees of Lord Shri Krishna and the Hindu community. Hindu rulers have always paid homage to the birthplace of Lord Shree Krishna and from time to time they constructed/ renovated temple at the spot, the petition said.
It was submitted that the Idgah Trust with the help of some Muslims encroached upon the land belonging to Shri Krishna Janmasthan Trust and the deity and erected a superstructure at the place.
The birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the structure raised by the trust, the suit added.
It claimed that Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan, which is the governing body of the temple complex, entered into an illegal compromise with the Idgah Trust in 1968 with a view to grab the property in question.
“The Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan is working against the interest of the deity and devotees and fraudulently entered into a compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah (Trust) in 1968 conceding a considerable portion of property belonging to the deity and the trust,” the suit argued.