UP: Petition seeking removal of Shahi Idgah Mosque restored by HC

Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court has restored a petition seeking the removal of Mathura’s Shahi Idgah Mosque, which is claimed to be built on Krishna Janambhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

The main petition was dismissed in default on January 19, 2021 as the petitioner appeared in person and not through a lawyer. The application for restoration was filed immediately thereafter.

In an order on February 17, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padia restored the plea on grounds that the application to restore it was filed without any delay.

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“For the reason stated in the application, the same is allowed. Order dated January 19, 2021 dismissing the main petition in default is recalled. Let the main petition be now listed as per roster on July 25, 2022,” the court said.

Earlier in 2020, a Mathura court had dismissed a plea seeking the removal of the mosque.

A group of people had moved the Mathura court over the 17th century mosque they claim was built at the birthplace of Lord Krishna, within the 13.37-acre premises of the Katra Keshav Dev temple.

The suit had demanded the annulment of an earlier Mathura court ruling, ratifying a land deal reached between the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan and the Shahi Idgah Management Committee on the mosque.

The suit was filed on behalf of child deity Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman, through the “next friend” Ranjana Agnihotri and seven others.

Next friend is a legal term for a person who represents someone directly unable to maintain a suit.

The petition had named the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board; Shahi Masjid Idgah Trust; Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Trust; and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan as defendants.

The plaintiffs sought an order directing the mosque management to “remove the construction raised by them encroaching upon the land within the area of the Katra Ksehav Dev temple”.

The plea demanded prohibitory injunctions restraining the defendants, their workers, supporters, men, attorneys and every person acting under them from entering the premises.

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