The Mathura District Court on Friday (16th October) admitted the appeal filed against the order of Civil Judge, Mathura, dismissing the suit for removal of Masjid Idgah, allegedly built on the land of Shrikrishna Janam Bhoomi.
The District Judge Sadhna Rani Thakur on Friday (16th October) has issued notices to Uttar Pradesh Sunni Waqf Board, Trust Masjid Idgah, Srikrishna Janamsthan Trust and Sri Krishna Janam Bhoomi Seva Sangh. The Matter has now been posted for further hearing on Thursday (19th November).
Background of the Case
Earlier, on Monday (12th October) the Mathura District Court had summoned all Court records with respect to the Shrikrishna Janam Bhoomi Case. Thereafter, the Court of District Judge had posted the matter for hearing on Friday (October 16, 2020) i.e., today.
Notably, this civil appeal, which has now been admitted, was preferred by 'Bhagwan Srikrishna Virjman', through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri, 'Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi'—the place of birth of Lord Shree Krishna and six devotees.
The Appellants have submitted in the civil appeal that the Civil Judge was wrong in dismissing their suit inasmuch as they are worshippers of Lord Shri Krishna and they have the right to assert their right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 of the Constitution to have Darshan and perform puja at the actual birth of place of Lord Krishna which is at present beneath the structure illegally raised by Muslims.
"It is the right and duty of the worshippers to make every endeavour to bring back the lost property of the deity and to take every step for the safety and proper management of the temple and the deities property," it has been submitted in the Civil Appeal.
Notably, the appeal avers that the Civil judge (in its 30th September order) mentioned that compromise had been entered into between Trust Masjid Idgah and Krishna Janamasthan Trust, whereas the Plaintiffs had clearly stated in the plaint that the compromise was made between Shri Krishna Janmsthan Sewa Sangh and Trust Masjid Idgah; and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Trust was not a party to the compromise and it had not filed the suit.
Therefore, it has also been alleged in the civil appeal that the impugned judgment is stated to be based upon the wrong assumption of fact and suffering from non-application of mind.
The appeal, which has now been admitted by the District Court, Mathura was filed through Advocates Hari Shankar Jain, Vishnu Shankar Jain & Pankaj Kumar Verma.
Civil Judge's Order delivered on 30th September
The Civil Court, while dismissing the suit, had observed that such type of suits is instituted through Shebait, however, the court had noted that the present suit had not been instituted through Shebait.
The Court had noted that Shree Krishna is considered to be the Avtar of Lord Vishnu, and there are infinite number devotes of Shree Krishna in the whole world.
Importantly, the Court had further opined that if each and every devotee is allowed to institute such suits, it would Jeopardize the Judicial and Social System.
The Court had remarked that to allow the plaintiffs to institute the suit, on the basis of they being the devotees, isn't Justified and is legally untenable and the institution of the suit by the devotees is not allowed in the eyes of Law.
Noting the aforesaid, the Court had come to the conclusion that the plaintiffs in the present matter did not have the right to sue and so there was no base to register the case and hence it deserved dismissal.
Averments in the appeal
Disputing this reasoning of the Court, the Appellants in their appeal have submitted that a suit cannot be rejected on the ground that several others may also approach the court.
They pointed out that the Court below "failed to take notice of the provision of the order 1 rule 8 CPC and that the court in the appropriate case has the power to treat any suit as representative suit when the interest of numerous persons are involved." (emphasis supplied)
Significantly, the Civil Court had also remarked that the Appellants herein do not have a 'Right to sue'.
Challenging this finding, in the appeal it has been submitted,
"The question regarding the right to sue cannot be decided in a summary manner. At the time of admission of suit the Court cannot decide the suit suo moto the question of the right to sue. Even the court below did not call upon the counsel for the plaintiffs to address on the point of locus standi."
Plaintiffs before the Court and The dispute
The first Petitioner, i.e. the deity himself was described as minor, juristic person who can sue and be sued through shebait and in his absence through next friend.
The second plaintiff was 'Shree Krishna Janmbhoomi'—the place of birth of Lord Shree Krishna, which as per the Plaintiffs has "special significance" in religious scriptures as well as under Hindu law.
The other plaintiffs were the devotees.
It was alleged that in 1968, the Society Shree Krishna Janamasthan Seva Sangh entered into a compromise with the Committee of Management of Trust Masjid Idgah, conceding a considerable portion of property belonging to the deity to the latter.
Disputing the legality of this compromise, the Plaintiffs had submitted:
"That it is relevant to mention that Shree Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sangh has no proprietary or ownership right in the property of Katra Keshavdev which stood vested in the deity and the Trust."
It was further contended:
"The original karagar i.e. the birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by the Committee of Management i.e. Trust Masjid Idgah. The true fact will come out before the Court after excavation."