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Allahabad High Court restores plea seeking recognition of Mathura’s Idgah Mosque as Krishna Janmabhoomi, was dismissed earlier due to absence of lawyer

The petition demands that the Krishna Janmabhoomi site in Mathura should be handed over to Hindus while a proper trust is formulated to build a temple on the site, on which today rests the Shahi Idgah Mosque

The Allahabad High Court on February 17, gave a green signal to hear a plea submitted by Lawyer Mahek Maheshwari seeking recognition of the Shahi Idgah Mosque at Mathura as Krishna Janmabhoomi – the birthplace of Hindu deity Krishna. The High Court has restored the plea which was dismissed on January 19, 2021, because petitioner Maheshwari and his representative Lawyer were absent during a hearing.

Responding to the application of restoration of plea which was filed immediately after its dismissal, the Allahabad High Court has now decided to hear the Krishna Janmabhoomi case again. The two-member divisional bench comprising of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Kapadia passed an order dated February 17, 2022, to restore the plea which was dismissed by default. The Krishna Janmabhoomi recognition case now goes for a hearing on July 25 this year.

The Krishna Janmabhoomi plea

Lawyer Mahek Maheshwari had filed an instant writ petition to the Allahabad High Court seeking removal of the Shahi Idgah Mosque which was built over the Krishna Janmabhoomi. The petition demands that the site should be handed over to Hindus while a proper trust should be formulated to look after the upkeep of the sacred site. While the matter was up for hearing, the plea requests permission to Hindus to worship at the Mosque certain days a week and on Krishna Janmashtami every year.

In the petition, Maheshwari asked for the court-monitored GPRS based excavation of the disputed site conducted by the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The plea submitted asserts, “Lord Krishna was born in karagar (jail) of King Kans and the place of his birth lies beneath the present structure raised by the Shahi Idgah Trust,”

The Krishna Janmabhoomi remains a contested issue since 1968 when The Shree Krishnajanmasthan Seva Sangh conceded a sizeable portion of land belonging to the deity to the Management Committee of the Masjid Idgah Trust. Challenging the legality of this erstwhile move, the petition says, “The committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah entered into illegal compromise on 12.10.1968 with the Society Shree Krishna Janamasthan Seva Sangh and both have played fraud upon the Court, the plaintiff Deities and devotees with a view to capture and grab the property in question. In fact, Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi Trust is non-functional since 1958.”

Maheshwari added that even on the Government official website of Mathura District, it is stated that Shahi Idgah mosque is built after the demolition of Krishna Janmabhoomi. According to the petitioner, certain architectural elements like carved pillars and antiquities were found in the Mosque courtyard which was recorded by certain workers. Since building a Masjid does not count as an essential religious practice in Islam, the petition by lawyer Mahek Maheshwari asks the disputed land should be handed over to the Hindus for the exercise of their right to freely profess, practise, and propagate religion under Article 25 of the Constitution.

The matter now goes for a fresh hearing on July 25, 2022.

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