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Shagun Suryam | Bar & Bench | New Delhi | March 12, 2022:: The Allahabad High Court has restored a public interest litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to hand over Mathura’s Shahi Masjid, which stands adjacent to the Sri Krishna Temple, to Hindus.
A Bench of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padia restored the petition that had been dismissed in default on January 19, 2021.
The Court will now hear the petition on 25 July.
“Order dated January 19, 2021 dismissing the main petition in default is recalled. The main petition is restored to its original number. Let the main petition be now listed as per roster on July 25, 2022,” the order stated.
The plea was moved by advocate Mehek Maheshwari stating that Mathura’s Shahi Masjid was built at the Krishna Janmasthan, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.
According to the petition, it housed the Katra Keshavdev Temple, which was demolished in the 16th century by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who then built the Shahi Masjid mosque in its place.
The plea has sought interim relief to permit Hindus to worship at the Masjid certain days a week, and on Janmashtami.
The petition has also sought declaration of key provisions of the Places of Worship Act, which prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed at the time of independence, as unconstitutional.
The petition said that a mosque is not an essential part of Islam but that for Hindus even if a site of worship is in ruins, it would still be important for their purpose of praying.
“Government’s official website of Mathura District it is stated that Shahi idgah mosque is built after demolition of Krishna Janmabhoomi by Aurangzeb. Krishna janmabhoomi on Krishna janmasthan has an overriding claim over than any mosque. This is the fundamental truth in the Krishna janmabhoomi dispute,” the plea claimed.
Recently, the Sri Krishna Janmabhumi Mukti Aandolan Samiti had moved an application before a Mathura court in the Krishna Janmabhoomi dispute, seeking a direction to stop namaz inside the Shahi Idgah Mosque and on the adjacent road.
Courtesy: Bar and Bench.