Appeal filed challenging dismissal of suit by Mathura Court to remove Shahi Idgah Masjid on claim that it was built over Krishna Janmabhoomi

LEGAL NEWS OCT 12,2020

Hindu deities Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and Asthan Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi, through next of friends, have moved an appeal before the Mathura District Court challenging the dismissal of the suit moved to remove the Shahi Idgah Masjid at Mathura on grounds that it was built over Krishna Janmabhoomi land.

The plea has been moved for the deities by next friends Ranjana Agnihotri, Pravesh Kumar, Rajesh Mani Tripathi, Karunesh Kumar Shukla, Shivaji Singh and Tripurari Tiwari.

The appellants assert that as devotees of Lord Krishna, they have a right to move the suit in view of their fundamental religious rights under Article 25 of the Constitution of India. The matter is expected to be taken up for hearing this afternoon.

A claim is being staked on behalf of the deity, Lord Shree Krishna Vijraman, by the appellants on 13.37 acres of land, referred to as Katra Keshav Dev land. The appeal narrates the following sequence of events as far as the history of the land, claimed to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna, is concerned.

•           In 1944, Seth Jugal Kishore Birla purchased the land from the egal heirs of Raja Patnimal.

•           Birla created a public trust in the name of Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust in 1951. The entire 13.37-acre land was dedicated to the deity, Lord Krishna, and given to the Trust.

•           A society named Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan was established on May 1, 1958, which overpowered the Shri Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust.

•           This Society entered in a compromise with the Trust Masjid Idgah in October 1968.

•           Thereby, the society conceded the Hindu deity’s valuable property in favour of the Trust Masjid Idgah “even though it was not the owner and the property had already vested in Shrikrishna Janmbhoomi Trust and it had no right to file the suit and to enter into compromise in respect of the land belonging to the Trust.”

•           A fraudulent and collusive decree followed, dated November 1974.

Last month, a Mathura Court dimissed a plea to remove the mosque constructed by the Idgah Masjid Trust.

This dismissal has now been challenged by the appellants, who have broadly made the following submissions:

•           As worshippers of Lord Shri Krishna, they have right to assert their right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution to have darshan and perform puja at the actual birth of place of Lord Krishna which is at present beneath the structure illegally raised by Muslims.

•           It is the right and duty of the worshippers to make every endeavor 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 deities’ property.

•           The validity of a civil decree passed on the basis of the compromise deed between the hri Krishna Janmsthan Sewa Sangh and Trust Masjid Idgah has been disputed. It is contended that this decree, obtained by playing fraud, is a nullity in law.

•           The appeal states further “The Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh had no right, power, interest or authority in the property of deity/trust and had no locus to file the suit and enter into compromise against the interest of deity. Therefore, the devotees on coming to know about the fraudulent act have every right to file the suit.”

•           The Mathura Court dismissal order has also relied on this compromise decree. As such, it is contended that the challenged judgment is based on a wrong assumption of mind and that it is without application of mind.

•           Further, the Court below has rejected the suit filed by the appellants in limine on the ground that if suit is registered a large number of worshippers may come to the court. A suit cannot be rejected on the ground that several others may also approach the court.

In view of these contentions, the appellants have asserted that the entire land of 13.37 acres vests in the deity Lord Shrikrishna Virajman.

The appellants/next friends further state that they have not prayed for handing over management of the property to them. Rather, they seek that the mosque (referred to as an encroachment), be removed and that the property be handed over to the Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Trust

The District Court has been urged to direct the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and the Management Commitee of the Shahi Masjid Idgah Trust to “remove the construction raised by them encroaching upon the land.”

Further it is prayed that the vacant possession of the property be handed over to the Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust.

The appeal has been filed through Advocates Hari Shankar Jain, Vishnu Shankar Jain and Pankaj Kumar Verma.

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