Big Relief to Shahi Idgah Committee, SC Stays HC Order Permitting Court-Monitored Survey

Shahi Idgah

The Supreme Court on Tuesday stayed the Allahabad High Court’s order permitting a court-monitored survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque adjacent to the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura.

A bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta stayed the implementation of the December 14, 2023 order, wherein the court had approved the appointment of a court commissioner to supervise the survey of the mosque premises. The Hindu side contends that there are indications suggesting it was once a temple.

The bench raised concerns about certain legal issues and criticized the “vague” application submitted to the high court for the appointment of a court commissioner for the survey. The justices emphasized the need for specificity in such applications, stating that leaving everything for the court to scrutinize is not permissible. Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing Hindu bodies like Bhagwan ShriKrishna Virajman, received this feedback from the bench. The court issued notice to the Hindu bodies, seeking their response, while clarifying that proceedings before the high court in the dispute would continue.

The Apex Court addressed a plea from the Committee of Management, Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah, challenging the high court’s order allowing a court-monitored survey of the Shahi Idgah.

The mosque committee argued in its plea that the high court should have considered its petition for the rejection of the plaint before deciding on any other miscellaneous applications in the suit. The committee sought the dismissal of the plea, citing the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, which prohibits the change of the character of religious places.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte