Krishna Janm Bhumi- Shahi Eidgah dispute: Allahabad High Court reserves judgment:

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Rajesh Pandey

In the Krishna Janmbhoomi-Shahi Eidgah title dispute case of Mathura, the Allahabad High Court on Thursday reserved its judgment on an application filed by Shahi Eidgah Masjid under order 7 Rule 11 of civil procedure code (CPC) challenging the maintainability of 18 suits filed concerning Mathura’s Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute. The order 7 rule 11 of civil procedure code (CPC), provides that a suit is not maintainable if it is barred by any law.

The Muslim side – management committee of Shahi Eidgah and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board has challenged the maintainability under the aforesaid rule of CPC on the ground that suits are barred under Places of Worship Act, 1991, which prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provide for maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as existed on August 15, 1947. According to Muslim side, the suits itself admit the fact that the mosque in question was built in 1669-70.

All 18 suits filed by Hindu side contain a common prayer seeking the removal of the Shahi Idgah mosque from the 13.37-acre complex it shares with the Katra Keshav Dev temple in Mathura. The additional prayers include seeking possession of the Shahi Idgah premises and demolition of the present structure.

Earlier, the court had reserved its judgment on May 31, 2024 after  hearing both Hindu (plaintiff) side and Muslim (defendant) side at length. However, the court re-opened the hearing today (on Thursday, June 6) after the request of counsel of Eidgah, Mehmood Pracha for hearing him on this matter.

Today, appearing on behalf of Eidgah, Mehmood Pracha, said that the arguments, on then application under order VII Rule 11 of CPC, advanced on behalf of the defendants- Muslim side have been concluded by Tasneem Ahmadi and, therefore, hearing on the application under Order VII Rule 11 of CPC stands concluded.

His second submission was that his right to audience be protected in view of the alleged unruly behaviour of counsel for the plaintiffs on the hearing dated May 30, 2024 and videography of the further court proceedings be also conducted.

His third submission was that since the subject matter of the suit is between the plaintiffs and the defendants, therefore, there is no provision that the court can appoint any person or lawyer as Amicus Curiea.

The court accepted the first request of Pracha and reserved its judgment on the issue of maintainability of suits. However, regarding the next two requests, the court said that these two issues shall be taken up after the order on the maintainability of suit is pronounced.

The high court has appointed senior advocate Manish Goyal as amicus curiea in the matter.

The Hindu plaintiffs had also taken the plea that no property in the name of Shahi Idgah is in the government records, and the same is occupied illegally. It was also argued that the Places of Worship Act, 1991.

 

Earlier, in May last year, the Allahabad High Court transferred to itself all the suits pending before the Mathura court praying for various reliefs pertaining to the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Eidgah Mosque dispute, allowing the transfer application filed by Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and seven others.

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