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Krishna Janmabhoomi: Allahabad High Court orders fresh hearings

Petitioner had demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque be removed and the land be handed to Hindus to build a temple

Sabrangindia 14 Mar 2022

Krishna Janmabhoomi

The Allahabad High Court Bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padiya has ordered that hearings in a petition pertaining to the Krishna Janmabhoomi – Shahi Idgah dispute will be conducted from July 25, 2022.

The petition was originally moved by advocate Mahek Maheshwari who demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque that is adjacent to Katra Keshav Dev, a Krishna temple in Mathura, be removed, and the land handed back to Hindus, and a proper trust for Krishna Janmabhoomi Janmasthan be formed, for building a temple on the said land.

But the petition was rejected on January 19, 2021, in the absence of the petitioner. The court has now rescinded that order to reject the petition, and has directed that hearings be conducted in the case.

Now the court has said, “The main petition was dismissed in default on January 19, 2021 on account of absence of the petitioner, who appears in person. The application for restoration was filed immediately thereafter.” It has further ordered, “For the reasons stated in the application, the same is allowed. Order dated January 19, 2021 dismissing the main petition in default is recalled.”

Brief background of the petition

The petitioners believe that the mosque is built right on top of the spot where the Hindu deity Krishna was born in a dungeon, when his parents Devaki and Vasudev were imprisoned by Devaki’s brother King Kansa who wanted to kill the deity as a baby as he feared losing his kingdom.

The petition had alleged, “The committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah entered into illegal compromise on October 12, 1968 with the Society Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh and both have played fraud upon the Court, the plaintiff Deities and devotees with a view to capture and grab the property in question. In fact, Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust is non-functional since 1958.”

“Even on the Government's official website of Mathura District it is stated that Shahi Idgah mosque was built after demolition of Krishna Janmabhoomi by Aurangzeb,” Advocate Mahek had submitted. She further contended in her plea that, “Masjid is not an essential part of lslam and hence, the disputed land should be handed over to the Hindus for exercise of their right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.”

Places of Worship Act, 1991

The objective of this Act was to freeze the status of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 in order to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of such a place of worship as on that day. Through this legislation, preservation of communal harmony was envisaged.

The petition challenges sections 2,3, 4 of the Act and urges the court to strike them down as unconstitutional as it prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The petitioner has argued that the provisions are violative of Articles 14, 25 and 26 of Constitution of India as these provisions are arbitrary, and denies justice. These provisions invariably and indiscriminately ban all kinds of conversions whether by agreement or by legal settlement or a judicial decision and therefore “the impugned provision interferes with the fundamental right of the persons enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution of India,” mentioned the plea.  

The petitioner also submitted that these provisions violate the doctrine of Hindu law that Temple property is never lost even if enjoyed by strangers for years and even the king cannot take away property as deity is the embodiment of God and is juristic person, represents ‘Infinite- the timeless’ and cannot be confined by the boundaries of time.

Brief background of the Krishna Janmabhoomi – Shahi Idgah dispute

SabrangIndia has reported previously about how the Krishna Janmabhoomi movement has been gathering strength, especially in wake of the Ayodhya dispute judgment where the land was handed over to Hindu petitioners to build the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, and the Muslim petitioners were given land in another place to build the Babri Masjid.

In fact, right-wing groups were so determined to draw parallels between the two cases that they had announced plans to storm the complex in Mathura and establish an idol of the deity there on December 6, 2021, a date that marks the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) had called for a ‘jalabhishek’ anointing of a deity or holy spot, at the area they claim is the birthplace of Krishna, in Shahi Eidgah. However, they reportedly withdrew the call, but the police remained on alert with 2,000 police personnel, besides the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), stationed at the site. Prohibitory orders had been issued to avoid any outbreak of violence and additional police personnel had been brought in from nearby districts as well.

In fact, Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was recently defeated in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, had been vocal about his support for building the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. In fact, back when he was the Deputy Chief Minister, Maurya had tweeted in Hindi, “A grand temple is being constructed in Ayodhya and Kashi, preparations are on for Mathura next.”

 

 

The above tweet is a direct reference to a common Hindutva slogan from the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the run up to and in the immediate aftermath of the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, entire neighbourhoods would reverberate with chants of “Ayodhya Babri toh jhaanki hai, Kashi-Mathura baaki hai!” (Ayodhya Babri was just the beginning, Kashi-Mathura are still left.) In September 2020, as many as 22 members of the Hindu Army, a right-wing group, were arrested for giving a call for ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement in Mathura.

A civil suit was first filed in the Mathura Court in September 2020, for removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf on land Khewat No.255 (Two Hundred Fifty-Five) at Katra Keshav Dev city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virajman.

SabrangIndia had reported that this petition before the Mathura Court had submitted that the Plaintiffs have a right under Article 26 of the Constitution of India to regain, hold and manage the property belonging to, owned and possessed by deity Lord Shree Krishna Virajmaan, measuring 13.37 acres situated within the area of Temple Complex in Katra Keshav Dev, City and District Mathura. But on September 30, a Civil Judge of Mathura Court had dismissed the plea to remove Shahi Idgah Mosque from its present site. Subsequently on October 16 Mathura District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur admitted a plea against this trial court order dated September 30 that dismissed the suit for removal of Masjid Idgah. Justice Sadhna Rani Thakur had issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah, Srikrishna Janamsthan Trust and Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Seva Sangh.

The Allahabad High Court order directed fresh hearings may be read here: 

 

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Plea in Allahabad HC to remove Idgah Mosque

And so it begins: Civil suit filed to remove Idgah next to Krishna temple in Mathura

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah

Hindu Army members arrested for launching ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Allahabad High Court orders fresh hearings

Petitioner had demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque be removed and the land be handed to Hindus to build a temple

Krishna Janmabhoomi

The Allahabad High Court Bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padiya has ordered that hearings in a petition pertaining to the Krishna Janmabhoomi – Shahi Idgah dispute will be conducted from July 25, 2022.

The petition was originally moved by advocate Mahek Maheshwari who demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque that is adjacent to Katra Keshav Dev, a Krishna temple in Mathura, be removed, and the land handed back to Hindus, and a proper trust for Krishna Janmabhoomi Janmasthan be formed, for building a temple on the said land.

But the petition was rejected on January 19, 2021, in the absence of the petitioner. The court has now rescinded that order to reject the petition, and has directed that hearings be conducted in the case.

Now the court has said, “The main petition was dismissed in default on January 19, 2021 on account of absence of the petitioner, who appears in person. The application for restoration was filed immediately thereafter.” It has further ordered, “For the reasons stated in the application, the same is allowed. Order dated January 19, 2021 dismissing the main petition in default is recalled.”

Brief background of the petition

The petitioners believe that the mosque is built right on top of the spot where the Hindu deity Krishna was born in a dungeon, when his parents Devaki and Vasudev were imprisoned by Devaki’s brother King Kansa who wanted to kill the deity as a baby as he feared losing his kingdom.

The petition had alleged, “The committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah entered into illegal compromise on October 12, 1968 with the Society Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh and both have played fraud upon the Court, the plaintiff Deities and devotees with a view to capture and grab the property in question. In fact, Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust is non-functional since 1958.”

“Even on the Government's official website of Mathura District it is stated that Shahi Idgah mosque was built after demolition of Krishna Janmabhoomi by Aurangzeb,” Advocate Mahek had submitted. She further contended in her plea that, “Masjid is not an essential part of lslam and hence, the disputed land should be handed over to the Hindus for exercise of their right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.”

Places of Worship Act, 1991

The objective of this Act was to freeze the status of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947 in order to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of such a place of worship as on that day. Through this legislation, preservation of communal harmony was envisaged.

The petition challenges sections 2,3, 4 of the Act and urges the court to strike them down as unconstitutional as it prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The petitioner has argued that the provisions are violative of Articles 14, 25 and 26 of Constitution of India as these provisions are arbitrary, and denies justice. These provisions invariably and indiscriminately ban all kinds of conversions whether by agreement or by legal settlement or a judicial decision and therefore “the impugned provision interferes with the fundamental right of the persons enshrined under Article 25 of the Constitution of India,” mentioned the plea.  

The petitioner also submitted that these provisions violate the doctrine of Hindu law that Temple property is never lost even if enjoyed by strangers for years and even the king cannot take away property as deity is the embodiment of God and is juristic person, represents ‘Infinite- the timeless’ and cannot be confined by the boundaries of time.

Brief background of the Krishna Janmabhoomi – Shahi Idgah dispute

SabrangIndia has reported previously about how the Krishna Janmabhoomi movement has been gathering strength, especially in wake of the Ayodhya dispute judgment where the land was handed over to Hindu petitioners to build the Ram Janmabhoomi temple, and the Muslim petitioners were given land in another place to build the Babri Masjid.

In fact, right-wing groups were so determined to draw parallels between the two cases that they had announced plans to storm the complex in Mathura and establish an idol of the deity there on December 6, 2021, a date that marks the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. The Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (ABHM) had called for a ‘jalabhishek’ anointing of a deity or holy spot, at the area they claim is the birthplace of Krishna, in Shahi Eidgah. However, they reportedly withdrew the call, but the police remained on alert with 2,000 police personnel, besides the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), stationed at the site. Prohibitory orders had been issued to avoid any outbreak of violence and additional police personnel had been brought in from nearby districts as well.

In fact, Keshav Prasad Maurya, who was recently defeated in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, had been vocal about his support for building the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple. In fact, back when he was the Deputy Chief Minister, Maurya had tweeted in Hindi, “A grand temple is being constructed in Ayodhya and Kashi, preparations are on for Mathura next.”

 

 

The above tweet is a direct reference to a common Hindutva slogan from the late 1980s and early 1990s. In the run up to and in the immediate aftermath of the demolition of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, entire neighbourhoods would reverberate with chants of “Ayodhya Babri toh jhaanki hai, Kashi-Mathura baaki hai!” (Ayodhya Babri was just the beginning, Kashi-Mathura are still left.) In September 2020, as many as 22 members of the Hindu Army, a right-wing group, were arrested for giving a call for ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement in Mathura.

A civil suit was first filed in the Mathura Court in September 2020, for removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf on land Khewat No.255 (Two Hundred Fifty-Five) at Katra Keshav Dev city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virajman.

SabrangIndia had reported that this petition before the Mathura Court had submitted that the Plaintiffs have a right under Article 26 of the Constitution of India to regain, hold and manage the property belonging to, owned and possessed by deity Lord Shree Krishna Virajmaan, measuring 13.37 acres situated within the area of Temple Complex in Katra Keshav Dev, City and District Mathura. But on September 30, a Civil Judge of Mathura Court had dismissed the plea to remove Shahi Idgah Mosque from its present site. Subsequently on October 16 Mathura District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur admitted a plea against this trial court order dated September 30 that dismissed the suit for removal of Masjid Idgah. Justice Sadhna Rani Thakur had issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah, Srikrishna Janamsthan Trust and Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Seva Sangh.

The Allahabad High Court order directed fresh hearings may be read here: 

 

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Plea in Allahabad HC to remove Idgah Mosque

And so it begins: Civil suit filed to remove Idgah next to Krishna temple in Mathura

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah

Hindu Army members arrested for launching ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi’ movement

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