Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust moves SC for survey of Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah premises

The ‘Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust’ has moved the Supreme Court seeking a survey of the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah mosque premises in Mathura to determine whether it was built on a pre-existing Hindu temple.

The Trust has challenged an order of the Allahabad High Court which dismissed its plea to direct the Mathura civil judge to decide its application for a scientific survey of Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah mosque premises first before deciding the objections raised against the suit.

The objections against the suit were raised by the management committee of the mosque and the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board.

In its plea before the top court, the Trust has submitted that Shahi Masjid Eidgah Management Committee is intentionally attempting to seize control of the sacred worship place of the Hindus and preventing it and other devoted followers from practising their religious rituals on the premises.

“The respondent no. 1 (Shahi Masjid Eidgah Management Committee), including their representatives, have been offering prayers (Namaz) on the same premises, using the premises as rest rooms which is considered to be the holy place/worship place for the petitioner.

“The Respondent no. 1 and their representatives are continuously digging and destroying Hindu symbols, temple pillars, and other significant elements of the temple. This has caused considerable damage to the sanctity and cultural heritage of the place,” the plea said.

The petition stated that in order to ensure the credibility of the claim put forth by it and the committee regarding the disputed land, it is imperative to carry out a thorough scientific survey.

“This survey will offer empirical data and substantiate the accuracy of their statements, providing a reliable basis for any conclusions or decisions.

“In order to fully comprehend the religious history and the significance of the site in a religious context concerning the land in dispute, a comprehensive investigation and study of its past are essential through proper scientific survey. This in-depth

exploration will provide valuable insights into the site’s historical importance and its relevance to religious matters,” it said.

On July 10, the high court bench of Justice Jayant Banerjee had dismissed the writ petition filed by the Trust, which has now gone in appeal.

In January this year, the Trust had filed a suit before the civil judge, Mathura, along with a map with a request to protect its interest as well as constitutional rights. It requested that the Krishna Janmabhoomi be restored at the place where the Shahi Masjid Idgah currently exists.

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However, the management committee of the Shahi Masjid Idgah and UP Sunni Central Waqf Board filed their objections to the maintainability of the aforesaid suit, saying it is barred by the Places of Worship Act, 1991 that says the religious nature of any place of worship cannot be altered from the way it existed on August 15, 1947, the day India achieved Independence.

The Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust, through its president Ashutosh Pandey, had requested the high court to direct the civil court at Mathura to decide its application for scientific survey first.

The Supreme Court had earlier this month refused to stay the Allahabad High Court order allowing the the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey in the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi to determine if the 17th-century structure was built upon a pre-existing temple.

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