The Allahabad High Court recently granted protection from any coercive action to 3 Applicants/Petitioners/Accused who are allegedly engaged in the work of development of Krishna Janambhumi and have in furtherance of their objective, registered a Trust namely 'Shri Krishna Janambhumi Nirman Nyas' before the concerned authority at Mathura (in July 2020).
Matter before the Court
It was also argued that their intention is to collect money from the public by arousing their religious sentiments and cause the dent to the reputation of the complainant Trust (Sri Krishna Janambhumi Trust) which is already working for over 70 years.
It was also submitted that if any indulgence is shown by the Court then that may result in promoting enmity between different groups on the grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence and language etc and may be prejudicial to maintenance of harmony.
Therefore, on such premise, it was submitted by the 3 Applicants that FIR was motivated with mala fide intention and the ingredients of the FIR does not disclose any fact giving rise to commission of any offence as has been alleged by the complainant.
The Court opined,
"The rival contentions and the legality of such rival contentions can be examined before the trial court after giving an opportunity of hearing to the accused persons with prosecution material after the investigation is concluded and at this stage in the writ jurisdiction rival claims of the petitioners cannot be adjudicated especially looking to the fact that religious beliefs and faith have their own vulnerability."
Prima facie, the Court was of the opinion that as far as registration of Trust by the petitioners is concerned, it is largely a civil dispute which is capable of being adjudicated before the machinery provided under the Trusts Act under which Trust has been registered.
However, the Court found it appropriate to extend benefit under section 173(2) of the Cr.P.C. in favour of the petitioners directing the police authorities to not to take any coercive action against the petitioners in case they cooperate with the investigation till the filing of the charge sheet.
Lastly, the Court said,
"We hope and trust that this protection extended in favour of the petitioners will not be taken as a ground to prolong the investigation and the authorities of the State will be obliged to expeditiously complete the investigation and if possible and not already completed within three months from the date of receipt of computer-generated copy of the order".
In above terms, writ petitions were disposed of