The Supreme Court on Friday (22 September) declined to order a scientific survey of the contested Shahi Idgah mosque located at the Krishna Janmabhoomi site in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh (Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust vs Shahi Masjid Eidgah Management Committee and ors).
A bench comprising Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia pointed out that the High Court has not yet made a decision on the application under Order 26 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code, which pertains to the appointment of commissioners.
The Supreme Court stated, "It cannot be said that the trial court did not have jurisdiction to pass the order. That being the position it cannot be urged that the High Court alone should have exercised revisionary jurisdiction after transfer... Therefore, we do not find it a case to exercise our jurisdiction under Article 136, more so for an interim order. No prejudice to the rights and contentions of parties in other SLP. The petition is disposed of."
The bench was addressing a petition filed by the Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust, which sought a scientific survey of the disputed Shahi Idgah mosque located at the Krishna Janmabhoomi site.
The case revolves around a lawsuit brought by Hindu parties aiming to remove the Mathura Shahi Idgah Masjid, claiming that this mosque was constructed on Krishna Janmabhoomi land.
Earlier this year, both a trial court in Uttar Pradesh and the Allahabad High Court had rejected the Trust's request for a survey, leading to the appeal before the Supreme Court.
The Trust argued that a scientific survey led by a commissioner is essential to validate the claims made regarding the site.
Furthermore, the Trust asserted that the Muslim side has been utilizing the site for prayers, using it as restrooms, and causing disruptions in a place of religious significance.
The Trust alleged continuous "digging" and damage to Hindu symbols, temple pillars, and other crucial elements, which has harmed the site's sanctity and cultural heritage.
Senior Advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gaurav Bhatia represented the Trust, while Advocate Tasneem Ahmadi appeared for the Shahi Masjid Eidgah Management Committee.
The Court recently suggested that it would be in the best interests of all parties if the Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid civil suit were heard by the Allahabad High Court, as the case has the potential to generate social unrest.
This observation was made in response to an appeal against a High Court decision that allowed Hindu parties to transfer the suit from the trial court to the High Court.
On a related note, the Supreme Court recently upheld an Allahabad High Court ruling that permitted the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to conduct a scientific survey of the Gyanvapi mosque premises in Varanasi.
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