Krishna Janmabhoomi temple: All you need to know about the case

20 May, 2022 | Riya Girdhar

The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust and other private parties filed an appeal in Mathura, claiming ownership of the land on which the Shahi Idgah mosque is built. We examine the conflict and how the...

On the same day that it was revealed that a court-ordered videography survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex in Varanasi discovered debris from old temples and Hindu motifs on pillars, a district judge in Mathura allowed the reopening of a lawsuit over the ownership of the land on which a 17th century mosque now stands.

After demolishing a temple, Emperor Aurangzeb ordered the Shahi Idgah mosque to be built near to the Krishna Janmasthal, which is thought to be where Lord Krishna was born.

What decision did the Mathura court make?

Sessions and District The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust and other private parties filed an appeal demanding ownership of the property on which the Shahi Idgah mosque is erected, and Judge Rajiv Bharti granted their request. The Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Sthal, where the deity Krishna is said to have been born, lies next to the Idgah. The main point of contention is ownership of 13.37 acres of land that the petitioners allege belongs to Lord Shri Krishna Virajman, a Hindu deity.

A lower court had previously dismissed the plea, so a revision petition was filed with the district judge. A lower court will now hear the civil case.

Aside from looking into revenue records, the court will have to decide on the legality of a 1968 “compromise agreement” between the Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan — the temple management authority, which is a registered society under law — and the Trust Masjid Idgah, in which the temple authority gave the Idgah the disputed land.

So far, how has the dispute been litigated?

Different petitioners have filed at least a dozen cases in Mathura’s local courts.

The supplication for the evacuation of the Shahi Idgah mosque from the 13.77-acre complex, which it shares with the Katra Keshav Dev Temple, runs through all of the petitions. Lord Krishna is thought to have been born on the temple grounds.

A video examination of the mosque, similar to the one granted by the Varanasi court at the Gyanvapi mosque, and the right to say prayers on the site are also included in the petitions.

The Allahabad High Court is considering a public interest petition (PIL) filed by advocate Mehek Maheshwari, who wants the government to buy the Shahi Idgah mosque.

The PIL was initially dismissed since the lawyer failed to appear for the hearing, but it was reinstated by a Bench consisting of Chief Justice Rajesh Bindal and Justice Prakash Padia. The case is now set to be heard on July 25.

In a related case, the Allahabad High Court on May 12 ordered the Civil Judge (Senior Division), Mathura, to decide cases on the Krishna Janmabhoomi issue speedily (within four months). Justice Salil Kumar Rai was hearing a complaint brought by Manish Yadav, who claims to be the deity’s next of kin, seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent the Shahi Idgah from entering the premises.