WHILE ALL eyes are on the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi, a similar petition seeking videography of the Shahi Idgah Masjid adjacent to Krishnajanmabhoomi was recently moved in a local Mathura court.
The application seeks an advocate commissioner for assessment of the site “on the lines of (the) Gyanvapi mosque”, to determine “existence of Hindu artefacts and ancient religious inscriptions on the mosque premises”.
The application was filed in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, a day after the Allahabad High Court directed it to dispose of all cases related to the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute within four months.
On May 12, while disposing of a petition filed by Bhagwan Shri Krishna Virajman And Another, the High Court said: “The Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, is directed to decide the aforesaid applications expeditiously, preferably within a period of four months from the date a certified copy of this order is produced before him, and after giving an opportunity of hearing to the affected parties….”
The High Court also stated in its order: “It is clarified that the court has not expressed any opinion either regarding the maintainability of the case or the merits of claim made by the petitioner.”
The next day, May 13, an application was moved in the court of Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, seeking appointment of an advocate commissioner to carry out inspection of the Shahi Idgah Masjid.
Petitioner Manish Yadav, who had earlier filed an application in the High Court for early disposal of petitions connected with the disputed Mathura site, told The Indian Express: “I requested the Mathura court to appoint a senior advocate, an advocate commissioner, and get a video survey done of Shahi Idgah immediately, because there are still remains of Hindu religion inside the mosque. These are important facts, and the Opposition can remove or delete them. The court is likely to take up my application on July 1.”
National president of an outfit called the Narayani Sena, Yadav said he had moved the high court as petitions were pending, including ones seeking a survey of the site by the Archeological Survey of India and a direction to stop any construction at the site.
Earlier, an advocate named Mahendra Pratap Singh had filed an application in the same civil court seeking that a commission be appointed to survey the mosque.
Advocate Tanveer Khan, who is representing the Shahi Idgah Masjid, said they were waiting for the July 1 hearing of the four petitions pending in connection with the disputed site.
Meanwhile, the District Judge Court, Mathura, is likely to soon pronounce its judgment on the maintainability of a civil suit seeking removal of the mosque, claiming it was built on Krishna Janmabhoomi, the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The suit was filed two years ago by the ‘Deity and the Janmasthan (birthplace)’ and ‘next friend’ Ranjana Agnihotri, a Lucknow resident, and others.
The petitioners have also sought cancellation of a compromise decree between the governing body of the temple complex and the management trust of the mosque in 1968. The petitioners claim that the agreement between the Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh, Mathura, and the mosque trust was “illegal and void ab initio (not legally binding)” as the land was vested in another trust, Shree Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, and the Seva Sangh was not authorised to act on its behalf.
Advocate Tanveer Khan said the civil court had rejected this plea in 2020, after which the petitioners had filed an appeal. “I argued that the petitioners are neither the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust nor Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Sewa Sangh, so their petition should be rejected.”