The Supreme Court on Monday (29 January) extended the stay on the survey of the Shahi Eidgah mosque near the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura until April.
The court issued this extension during the hearing of a case related to the survey by an advocate-commissioner.
As reported by Hindustan Times, a bench of justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta asked the parties to file their submission in the matter by the first fortnight of April, when the case will be heard next.
Additionally, the Court will address a set of petitions challenging the high court's decision to transfer around 18 suits related to the Krishna Janmasthan-Shahi Eidgah land dispute from various civil courts in Mathura to itself.
Observing that the plea made by the Hindu side for the survey was “very vague”, and that some important legal issues also arise in the matter, the bench on 16 January stayed the Allahabad high court order of 14 December for the appointment of an advocate-commissioner to oversee the survey of the mosque.
The high court's decision was based on a plea made by Hindu plaintiffs who claimed signs in the mosque indicated it was once a Hindu temple.
Earlier, the Allahabad High Court had transferred all these suits to itself from various courts in Mathura.
Meanwhile, the mosque committee, in its petition before the top court, questioned the maintainability of the suits after prolonged delay.
It further argued that the suit is barred by the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 which protects the “character” of all places of worship existing as on 15 August 1947 (barring the Ram Janmabhoomi land at Ayodhya) and prohibits filing of any lawsuits to alter the character of any place of worship.
Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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