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Krishna Janmabhoomi: Daily hearings on maintainability to begin from July 25

Petitioners have demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque be removed and the entire mosque complex land be returned to the temple trust

Sabrangindia 23 Jul 2022

Krishna Janmabhoomi

From Monday, July 25, 2022, the court of a civil judge (senior division) in Mathura, will conduct day-to-day hearings in the matter pertaining to the maintainability of the suit filed to demand the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex, and the return of the mosque land to the temple trust. Hearings will take place at 3 P.M every working day till the court arrives at a decision as to whether such a suit is permissible at all.

Hindustan Times quoted Tanveer Ahmed, the secretary and counsel for management committee of Shahi Eidgah Mosque as saying, “We welcome the order passed by the court of the civil judge (senior division), Mathura, which has ordered for day-to-day hearing on the application moved to challenge the maintainability of the case filed seeking removal of Shahi Eidgah Mosque. The case no. 950 of 2020 has been filed on wrong basis and has no legal substance and we had thus rightly challenged the maintainability of the case by moving application under Order 7 Rule 11 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC).”

The matter pertaining to the maintainability of the suit will therefore have to be settled before the matter pertaining to a survey, filed via a separate application, can be taken up.

Petition for survey of mosque

Readers would recall that on July 18, the Allahabad High Court had disposed of a petition to conduct a scientific investigation of the Shahi Idgah and Jahanara’s Mosque, by directing a Mathura court to decide on the plea, preferably within three months. That matter pertained to the petition filed before the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution, where the plaintiff is Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman (the deity) and the defendant is the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board. The petitioner had previously, on April 14, 2021 moved the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura, under section 45 of the Evidence Act and the Provisions of Rule 10-A of Order XXVI of the Code of Civil Procedure for conducting Scientific Investigation of Shahi Eidgah and Jahanara's Mosque in Civil Suit No. 151 of 2021 (Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and others vs. U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board and others) within a stipulated time period.

The respondent i.e the Waqf Board, had also moved another application before the same lower court on July 16, 2022, under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code. According to Order 7 Rule 11, no petition can be entertained against the matter that is already protected by an existing law. In this case, the Waqf Board contends that the Shahi Idgah falls under the purview of the Places of Worship Act that disallows changing the character of a place of worship from what it was in 1947.

It is noteworthy that the primary petition, i.e the one moved by Ranjana Agnihotri as next friend of the deity seeking removal of the mosque and return of the land, had been dismissed by a lower court in September 2020, but restored by the district court in May 2022. Therefore, petitioners who are demanding a scientific investigation and survey of the mosque i.e advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, contended that the matter pertaining to the maintainability had already been addressed. Singh and Maheshwari are considering a revision petition.

Brief background of the original case

The original civil suit filed in September 2020, the petitioners i.e the deity Baghwan Sri Krishna Virajman through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of the deity) and devotees, have claimed, “This suit is being filed 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.”  

Explaining the rationale behind the suit, the plaintiffs have stated, “The present suit is being filed by and on behalf of deity Plaintiff Nos.1 (One) and 2 (Two) alongwith devotees to ensure that Dharshan, Pooja, rituals according to Vedic Sanatan Dharma, faith, belief, usages, traditions and customs guaranteed under Article 25 (Twenty Five) of the Constitution of India are performed at the actual birth place and at any part of 13.37 (Thirteen Point Thirty Seven) Acers land of Katra Keshav Dev the Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah and their men, workers, attorneys and every person working under them are restrained from entering into the premises of the property in question and they be directed to remove the construction illegally raised by them without authority of law at the property in question.”

The primary contention was that the Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh that looked after the Katra Keshav Dev temple property had allegedly entered into an illegal compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah in 1968 by way of which a huge chunk of land was given to the Idgah including the spot where the deity was born. The plaintiffs had submitted, “The original karagar i.e birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by Committee of Management i.e Trust Masjid Idgah.” It insisted that the truth would be revealed if an excavation were to be conducted.

On September 30, 2020, a civil court in Mathura dismissed the petition to remove the Shahi Idgah adjacent to a Krishna temple in the city. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Chhaya Sharma refused to entertain the plea citing section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Section 4 (1) of this Act says, “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.”

However, the plaintiffs moved the district court against this on October 12 citing Article 25 of the Constitution that deals with “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” and says, “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”

The Appellants submitted, “It is the right and duty of worshipers to make every endeavour to bring back the lost property of the deity and to take every step for the safety and proper management of the temple and the deity’s property.”

The Petitioners have sought ownership of the entire property spread across 13.37 acres, and cancellation of the agreement that led to the transfer of land in 1968.

Meanwhile, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Shahi Idgah committee argued that the petitioner was neither an office bearer of the Temple trust, nor a descendent of the Krishna Janmasthan.

On May 7, 2022, after hearing both parties, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had reserved its order. On May 19, 2022, the court delivered its order to restore the petition.

Other applications and related petitions

On May 13, 2022, a petitioner named Manish Yadav moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura demanding that an Advocate Commissioner be appointed to carry out an inspection of the Shahi Idgah. He claims to be a descendant of Lord Krishna, and had previously demanded that the mosque be shifted. He had moved Allahabad High Court citing delay in hearing of his plea by the lower court. Yadav also submitted a copy of the Allahabad High Court order dated May 12 that directed the lower court to decide within four months the matter pertaining to the injunction application as well as bunching together the trial in all pending cases related to the dispute.

On May 17, advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) seeking directions to seal the Shahi Idgah mosque. In in their application, they have claimed that this is necessary to ensure that the religious character of the place remains unchanged. They have also asked that the deployment of security personnel at the mosque be stepped up to prevent any movement. The applicants have sought directions to the District Magistrate as well as the Superintendent of Police, along with the CRPF Commandment, to seal the premises and preserve the Hindu religious symbols such as Swastika, lotus flower, Kalash etc.

Meanwhile, another application was filed before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Chaudhary, by next friends of the deity and devotees, appealing for permission to be granted to Hindus to conduct “darshan, pooja and other rituals” at the mosque site in accordance with Vedic Sanatan Dharma.

Then, Dinesh Kaushik, the National Treasurer of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, filed an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura seeking permission to consecrate an idol of deity Laddo Gopal inside the Shahi Idgah mosque and perform traditional Hindu prayers there.

Then on May 23, the same Dinesh Kaushik filed another application seeking permission to perform “purification rituals” at the sanctum sanctorum of the Katra Keshav Dev temple using water from the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. He claimed such purification was essential as the existence of the Idgah was hurting his religious sentiments.  

Also on May 23, a petition was moved by petitioners Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari as next friends of the deity, before the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Jyoti Singh demanding an Advocate Commissioner be sent to the Shahi Idgah, claiming Hindu symbols were present at the site. But the judge asked the mosque authorities to file their objections and set July 1 as the next date of hearing. Aggrieved by this the petitioners moved the court of the Additional District Judge. On May 26, the court of the Additional District Judge directed the lower court to dispose of the petition after conducting day-to-day hearings starting from July 1.

Then on May 26 Kaushik again moved an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura demanding the removal of the loudspeaker of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Katra Keshav Dev temple. He claimed that the use of the loudspeaker for Azaan was infringing upon his rights as a Sanatani Hindu. Also on May 26, another related appeal was heard by the Additional District Judge pertaining to appointment of a Court Commissioner for survey of the Shahi Idgah. The court of the Additional Judge then directed the lower court to dispose of the petition after conducting day-to-day hearings starting from the date when the case will be heard next. Readers would recall that the lower court had adjourned hearings till July 1, i.e after summer vacations.

At present, nearly a dozen related petitions are being heard by the Mathura Civil Court. Petitioners, apart from the deity (represented by next friend Ranjana Agnihotri), and Manish Yadav, include Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha national treasurer Dinesh Sharma, Jitendra Singh Visen of the Vishwa Vaidik Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), Anil Kumar Tripathi, Pawan Kumar Shastri, Gopal Giri and Pankaj Singh. It is noteworthy that VVSS is also a petitioner in the Gyanvapi case that is being heard by a fast-track court in Varanasi. VVSS has demanded that Muslims be prohibited from entering the Gyanvapi complex, and that the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises be returned to Hindus.

 

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Allahabad HC directs Mathura court to expeditiously decide on plea seeking scientific investigation of Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura ADJ directs lower court to hear plea for appointment of Court Commissioner for survey of mosque

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Now plea seeks ban on loudspeaker at Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court restores suit demanding removal of Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Court reserves orders on whether petition against Shahi Idgah is maintainable

Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Mathura district court admits plea against Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Appeal against Mathura Court order

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah

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

 

 

 

 

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Daily hearings on maintainability to begin from July 25

Petitioners have demanded that the Shahi Idgah mosque be removed and the entire mosque complex land be returned to the temple trust

Krishna Janmabhoomi

From Monday, July 25, 2022, the court of a civil judge (senior division) in Mathura, will conduct day-to-day hearings in the matter pertaining to the maintainability of the suit filed to demand the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple complex, and the return of the mosque land to the temple trust. Hearings will take place at 3 P.M every working day till the court arrives at a decision as to whether such a suit is permissible at all.

Hindustan Times quoted Tanveer Ahmed, the secretary and counsel for management committee of Shahi Eidgah Mosque as saying, “We welcome the order passed by the court of the civil judge (senior division), Mathura, which has ordered for day-to-day hearing on the application moved to challenge the maintainability of the case filed seeking removal of Shahi Eidgah Mosque. The case no. 950 of 2020 has been filed on wrong basis and has no legal substance and we had thus rightly challenged the maintainability of the case by moving application under Order 7 Rule 11 of Civil Procedure Code (CPC).”

The matter pertaining to the maintainability of the suit will therefore have to be settled before the matter pertaining to a survey, filed via a separate application, can be taken up.

Petition for survey of mosque

Readers would recall that on July 18, the Allahabad High Court had disposed of a petition to conduct a scientific investigation of the Shahi Idgah and Jahanara’s Mosque, by directing a Mathura court to decide on the plea, preferably within three months. That matter pertained to the petition filed before the High Court under Article 227 of the Constitution, where the plaintiff is Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman (the deity) and the defendant is the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board. The petitioner had previously, on April 14, 2021 moved the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura, under section 45 of the Evidence Act and the Provisions of Rule 10-A of Order XXVI of the Code of Civil Procedure for conducting Scientific Investigation of Shahi Eidgah and Jahanara's Mosque in Civil Suit No. 151 of 2021 (Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and others vs. U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board and others) within a stipulated time period.

The respondent i.e the Waqf Board, had also moved another application before the same lower court on July 16, 2022, under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code. According to Order 7 Rule 11, no petition can be entertained against the matter that is already protected by an existing law. In this case, the Waqf Board contends that the Shahi Idgah falls under the purview of the Places of Worship Act that disallows changing the character of a place of worship from what it was in 1947.

It is noteworthy that the primary petition, i.e the one moved by Ranjana Agnihotri as next friend of the deity seeking removal of the mosque and return of the land, had been dismissed by a lower court in September 2020, but restored by the district court in May 2022. Therefore, petitioners who are demanding a scientific investigation and survey of the mosque i.e advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, contended that the matter pertaining to the maintainability had already been addressed. Singh and Maheshwari are considering a revision petition.

Brief background of the original case

The original civil suit filed in September 2020, the petitioners i.e the deity Baghwan Sri Krishna Virajman through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri, Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi (birthplace of the deity) and devotees, have claimed, “This suit is being filed 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.”  

Explaining the rationale behind the suit, the plaintiffs have stated, “The present suit is being filed by and on behalf of deity Plaintiff Nos.1 (One) and 2 (Two) alongwith devotees to ensure that Dharshan, Pooja, rituals according to Vedic Sanatan Dharma, faith, belief, usages, traditions and customs guaranteed under Article 25 (Twenty Five) of the Constitution of India are performed at the actual birth place and at any part of 13.37 (Thirteen Point Thirty Seven) Acers land of Katra Keshav Dev the Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah and their men, workers, attorneys and every person working under them are restrained from entering into the premises of the property in question and they be directed to remove the construction illegally raised by them without authority of law at the property in question.”

The primary contention was that the Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh that looked after the Katra Keshav Dev temple property had allegedly entered into an illegal compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah in 1968 by way of which a huge chunk of land was given to the Idgah including the spot where the deity was born. The plaintiffs had submitted, “The original karagar i.e birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by Committee of Management i.e Trust Masjid Idgah.” It insisted that the truth would be revealed if an excavation were to be conducted.

On September 30, 2020, a civil court in Mathura dismissed the petition to remove the Shahi Idgah adjacent to a Krishna temple in the city. Civil Judge (Senior Division) Chhaya Sharma refused to entertain the plea citing section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Section 4 (1) of this Act says, “It is hereby declared that the religious character of a place of worship existing on the 15th day of August, 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.”

However, the plaintiffs moved the district court against this on October 12 citing Article 25 of the Constitution that deals with “Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion” and says, “Subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of this Part, all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practise and propagate religion.”

The Appellants submitted, “It is the right and duty of worshipers to make every endeavour to bring back the lost property of the deity and to take every step for the safety and proper management of the temple and the deity’s property.”

The Petitioners have sought ownership of the entire property spread across 13.37 acres, and cancellation of the agreement that led to the transfer of land in 1968.

Meanwhile, the Sunni Waqf Board and the Shahi Idgah committee argued that the petitioner was neither an office bearer of the Temple trust, nor a descendent of the Krishna Janmasthan.

On May 7, 2022, after hearing both parties, the court of Mathura District and Sessions Judge Rajeev Bharati had reserved its order. On May 19, 2022, the court delivered its order to restore the petition.

Other applications and related petitions

On May 13, 2022, a petitioner named Manish Yadav moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura demanding that an Advocate Commissioner be appointed to carry out an inspection of the Shahi Idgah. He claims to be a descendant of Lord Krishna, and had previously demanded that the mosque be shifted. He had moved Allahabad High Court citing delay in hearing of his plea by the lower court. Yadav also submitted a copy of the Allahabad High Court order dated May 12 that directed the lower court to decide within four months the matter pertaining to the injunction application as well as bunching together the trial in all pending cases related to the dispute.

On May 17, advocates Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari, moved the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) seeking directions to seal the Shahi Idgah mosque. In in their application, they have claimed that this is necessary to ensure that the religious character of the place remains unchanged. They have also asked that the deployment of security personnel at the mosque be stepped up to prevent any movement. The applicants have sought directions to the District Magistrate as well as the Superintendent of Police, along with the CRPF Commandment, to seal the premises and preserve the Hindu religious symbols such as Swastika, lotus flower, Kalash etc.

Meanwhile, another application was filed before the court of Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay Chaudhary, by next friends of the deity and devotees, appealing for permission to be granted to Hindus to conduct “darshan, pooja and other rituals” at the mosque site in accordance with Vedic Sanatan Dharma.

Then, Dinesh Kaushik, the National Treasurer of the All India Hindu Mahasabha, filed an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division) Mathura seeking permission to consecrate an idol of deity Laddo Gopal inside the Shahi Idgah mosque and perform traditional Hindu prayers there.

Then on May 23, the same Dinesh Kaushik filed another application seeking permission to perform “purification rituals” at the sanctum sanctorum of the Katra Keshav Dev temple using water from the rivers Ganga and Yamuna. He claimed such purification was essential as the existence of the Idgah was hurting his religious sentiments.  

Also on May 23, a petition was moved by petitioners Mahendra Pratap Singh and Rajendra Maheshwari as next friends of the deity, before the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division) Jyoti Singh demanding an Advocate Commissioner be sent to the Shahi Idgah, claiming Hindu symbols were present at the site. But the judge asked the mosque authorities to file their objections and set July 1 as the next date of hearing. Aggrieved by this the petitioners moved the court of the Additional District Judge. On May 26, the court of the Additional District Judge directed the lower court to dispose of the petition after conducting day-to-day hearings starting from July 1.

Then on May 26 Kaushik again moved an application before the court of the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura demanding the removal of the loudspeaker of the Shahi Idgah mosque that is located next to the Katra Keshav Dev temple. He claimed that the use of the loudspeaker for Azaan was infringing upon his rights as a Sanatani Hindu. Also on May 26, another related appeal was heard by the Additional District Judge pertaining to appointment of a Court Commissioner for survey of the Shahi Idgah. The court of the Additional Judge then directed the lower court to dispose of the petition after conducting day-to-day hearings starting from the date when the case will be heard next. Readers would recall that the lower court had adjourned hearings till July 1, i.e after summer vacations.

At present, nearly a dozen related petitions are being heard by the Mathura Civil Court. Petitioners, apart from the deity (represented by next friend Ranjana Agnihotri), and Manish Yadav, include Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha national treasurer Dinesh Sharma, Jitendra Singh Visen of the Vishwa Vaidik Sanatan Sangh (VVSS), Anil Kumar Tripathi, Pawan Kumar Shastri, Gopal Giri and Pankaj Singh. It is noteworthy that VVSS is also a petitioner in the Gyanvapi case that is being heard by a fast-track court in Varanasi. VVSS has demanded that Muslims be prohibited from entering the Gyanvapi complex, and that the entire Gyanvapi mosque premises be returned to Hindus.

 

Related:

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Allahabad HC directs Mathura court to expeditiously decide on plea seeking scientific investigation of Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura ADJ directs lower court to hear plea for appointment of Court Commissioner for survey of mosque

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Now plea seeks ban on loudspeaker at Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court restores suit demanding removal of Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Court reserves orders on whether petition against Shahi Idgah is maintainable

Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Mathura district court admits plea against Shahi Idgah

Krishna Janmabhoomi case: Appeal against Mathura Court order

Krishna Janmabhoomi: Mathura court dismisses plea against Shahi Idgah

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

 

 

 

 

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