Law

Court Admits Appeal Against Dismissal of Suit for Removal of Mosque From 'Krishna's Birthplace'

The petition, filed by six devotees (one of whom has identified herself as the next friend of the deity and the birthplace), had been dismissed by a civil court in late September.

New Delhi: The Mathura district court on October 16 admitted an appeal filed against the dismissal of a civil suit filed for the removal of the Idgah mosque near the birthplace of Krishna.

LiveLaw has reported that district Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur has issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah, Srikrishna Janamsthan Trust and Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Seva Sangh in this regard. Judge Thakur will hear the matter again on November 19.

In late September, a group of six Hindu men and women moved a Mathura civil court claiming that the Idgah mosque, built during the rule of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, in 1669-70, is the exact birthplace of Krishna.

The petition, initially filed in the court of Mathura Senior Civil Judge Chhaya Sharma, demanded the annulment of a 1968 Mathura court ruling, ratifying a land deal reached between the Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan and Shahi Idgah Management Committee, perpetuating the existence of the mosque within the temple premises.

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“Every inch of land of Katra Keshav Dev (as the place is known historically) is sacred for devotees of Lord Shree Krishna and (the) Hindu community,” the petition said and sought the “removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised” on it “by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni Central Board of Waqf”.

However, on September 30, the civil judge had upheld the above understanding between the two trusts and dismissed the suit.

According to LiveLaw, the court also said that “if each and every devotee [of Krishna] is allowed to institute such suits, it would jeopardise the judicial and social system.”

The court had noted that the plaintiffs did not have the right to sue.

Resonant of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute case, the first petitioner in the civil suit is a deity. The ‘Bhagwan Srikrishna Virjman’. The second plaintiff is a birthplace, identified as the ‘Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi’.

One Ranjana Agnihotri, moved court as the ‘next friend’ of both the deity and the birthplace, claiming both to be juristic persons, liable to be represented in courts by their next friends.

Five other devotees comprise the rest of the plaintiffs. They are Delhi resident Parvesh Kumar, Rajesh Mani Tripathi of Siddharth Nagar in Uttar Pradesh, Karunesh Kumar Shukla of Basti, and Shivaji Singh and Tripurari Tiwari, both of Lucknow.

These plaintiffs have contested the civil judge’s dismissal on grounds that include non-admissibility of the ground that “several others may also approach the court.”