PIL on Krishna Janmabhoomi dismissed as matter already part of pending suits: HC order

 A PIL seeking to declare the site of the Shahi Idgah Mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura district as Krishna Janmabhoomi or the birthplace of Lord Krishna was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court as the issue was already a part of other “pending suits”.

The high court dismissed the PIL on Wednesday and the copy of the order was uploaded on its website on Friday.

A two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice Pritinker Diwaker and Justice Ashutosh Srivastava passed the order on the PIL filed by Mahek Maheshwari, an advocate, and others. The bench had earlier reserved its order in the case on September 4.

Dismissing the PIL, the court observed, “Since the issues involved in the present writ (PIL) is already engaging attention of the Court in appropriate proceedings (i.e. the Pending suits), we are not inclined to entertain the instant writ (PIL) and the same is accordingly dismissed.”

Appearing on behalf of the state government, Chief Standing Counsel Kunal Ravi Singh opposed the writ petition, saying that “though this petition has been described as a PIL, it is not in public interest rather, it espouses a personal cause in-as-much as the petitioner claims to be a devout Hindu and ardent devotee of Lord Shree Krishna.”

He further submitted, “Under the order dated May 26, 2023 passed in Transfer Application (Civil) No. 88 of 2023 (Bahgwan Shri Krishna Virajman and 7 others vs. U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board and 3 others) as many as 10 cases pending before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Mathura have been transferred to this Court and are pending.”

“The suits raise the same issues as have been raised in the instant writ (PIL). It is, thus, prayed that the writ (PIL) be dismissed at the threshold.”

After hearing parties, the high court said, “We have also gone through the order dated May 26, 2023 passed in Transfer Application which throws some light upon the nature of the suits and the reliefs claimed therein. The pending suits involve the issues relating to the interpretation of various facts of statutes, constitutional law, personal law and common law.”

The PIL has sought the removal of the Shahi Idgah Mosque, alleging it was built on the site of the birthplace of Krishna.

The petitioner had asked for the land to be handed over to the Hindus and a proper trust be formed to build a temple on the Krishna Janmabhoomi Janmasthan land.

In an interim plea, the petitioner had also sought permission for Hindus to worship at the mosque on certain days of the week and during the festival of Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) till the disposal of the petition.

The petitioner had also prayed for a court-monitored excavation of the structure by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

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Before dismissing the petition, the court observed, “It has been averred in the petition that the maternal great grandmother, who resided in Mathura, told the petitioner about the spiritual importance of Mathura and Braj Mandal 84 Kos (yatra). She also told the petitioner how the Shahi Idgah masjid came to be constructed after demolition of a lofty temple of Lord Shree Krishna at the birthplace by Aurangzeb, the Mugal Emperor.”

“It has also been averred that the right of worship of the Hindu community has been substantially reduced from 13.37 acres of land of Sri Krishna Janmasthan on account of encroachment of Trust Masjid Idgah, which manages the affairs of the Shahi Idgah,” the court noted.

“It has also been averred that the Committee of Management of Masjid Trust Idgah entered into an illegal compromise on 12.10.1968 with the Society Shree Krishna Janmasthan Sewa Sangh and both have played fraud upon the Court, the deities and devotees with a view to grab the property. The petition also attempts to demonstrate the demolition and encroachment over Shri Krishna Janmasthan by stating historical and archaeological facts,” the court stated.

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