NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has declined to stay the Allahabad High Court's order transferring to itself for deciding the suits filed in connection with Mathura's Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah dispute.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Sudhanshu Dhulia, and Ahsanuddin Amanullah, said it will not be fair to interfere with the high court order without hearing both the sides.
The apex court noted there were 18 petitions pending before the high court in the matter.
Senior advocate Huzefa Ahmadi along with advocate Fuzail Ahmed Ayubbi for the Muslim side, submitted that they are against the transfer itself and it should be heard at Mathura only, and there is no reason for transfer and also there is no such issue of national importance involved here.
Ahmadi submitted that plaintiffs had filed the suit 49 years after a compromise was reached in 1968 and decreed in 1974.
“So why such a suit should have been allowed to be called for trial before the high court needs examination by this court,” Ahmadi said.
Another counsel, also for the Muslim side, asked the bench to stay the ongoing proceedings before the high court.
The bench said without hearing both the sides, it will not be fair to interfere with the high court order.
"Last time, we did not stay it. Now, you say there is something more to be said. That does not mean there has to be a stay,” the bench said.
The counsel, representing the Committee of Management Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah, said her clients do not have the financial wherewithal to travel to Allahabad to contest the suits since distance from Mathura was more than 600 km and asked the court to allow transfer of the suits to Delhi, which would be convenient for her clients.
The bench replied that it is very difficult to accept this contention, as the court in Delhi is already overburdened.
“Not acceptable to us that you can come to Delhi but not go to Allahabad,” the bench said adding that it will have to hear the matter and test the order passed by the high court.
The bench asked both the sides to file their short synopsis and fixed the matter for hearing on January 9.
The Committee of Management Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah challenged the May 26 order of the high court, which had transferred to itself all matters related to the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah dispute pending before the Mathura court. The Hindu side claimed Shahi Masjid Idgah was constructed on a part of the 13.37 acre land of the Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust.
By its May 26, 2023 decision, the Allahabad High Court ordered for transfer of all the cases related to Krishna Janmabhoomi pending before the Mathura court to itself.
A single bench of Justice Arvind Kumar Mishra had then allowed a transfer petition filed by Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman and seven others.
While allowing the plea for transfer of one suit, the court had then exercised its suo motu power for the rest of the suits of similar nature, by withdrawing it from the lower civil court concerned and transferred those to the High Court.
The matter arose out of a plea originally filed in the court of civil judge senior division on September 25, 2020 by Lucknow-resident Ranjana Agnihotri, and others as the "next friend of Bhagwan Sri Krishna Virajman".
They had claimed in the plea that Shahi Idgah Masjid is constructed on a part of 13.37 acre land belonging to the Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Trust. They demanded removal of the mosque and return of the land to the Trust.
They also contended that the Shahi Idgah Mosque had been built by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after demolishing a part of the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi.
They have also challenged the 1968 agreement between the Shahi Idgah Mosque Committee and the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust allowing the Mosque to continue to exist and use the land on which it was situated.
They also made claim over the entire birth place of Lord Krishna and sought removal of alleged encroachment of superstructure built as Shahi Idgah masjid over there.