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Hindu Side Counters Waqf Claim in Mathura's Krishna Janmbhoomi Case

Hindu Side Counters Waqf Claim in Mathura's Krishna Janmbhoomi Case

On Monday, the Allahabad High Court  heard the arguments regarding the Krishna Janmbhoomi and Shahi Eidgah suits in Mathura, focusing on arguments presented by the Hindu party. Specifically, the Hindu side contested the assertion made by the Muslim party regarding the property's classification as waqf property.

Advocate Vishnu Jain, representing the Hindu side, argued before Justice Mayank Kumar Jain's bench that the disputed property originally functioned as a temple. Despite subsequent efforts to convert it into a site for offering Namaz through forceful possession, Jain emphasized that such actions cannot alter the inherent nature of the land.

The counsel stressed that the property under scrutiny does not qualify as Waqf property, hence rendering the Wakf Act inapplicable to it. By firmly stating "it is not Waqf property," the counsel contended that the high court holds jurisdiction to resolve the dispute, asserting its authority to adjudicate the matter.

The Muslim side had raised concerns about the legitimacy of the suits filed by the Hindu party. They argued that jurisdiction over the issue falls solely within the purview of the Wakf Tribunal, asserting that civil courts lack the competence to adjudicate the case.

The next hearing for the case is scheduled for April 30, 2024.

On April 1, the Muslim side contended that the title suit should be dismissed based on its inconsistency with both the Waqf Act and the Places of Worship Act 1991. These statutes prohibit the alteration of places of worship and require the maintenance of their religious identity as of August 15, 1947. Advocate Tasneem Ahmadi, representing the defendants (comprising the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board and the management committee of Shahi-Eidgah Masjid), put forth this argument.

Ahmadi highlighted that the Hindu side's suit aims to secure possession following the removal of the Shahi Eidgah Masjid structure, restoration of a temple, and a permanent injunction. She emphasized that as the masjid structure still stands and is currently under the management committee's control, a dispute over Waqf property arises. Consequently, Ahmadi argued that the matter falls within the jurisdiction of the Waqf Tribunal rather than a civil court.

The high court is currently handling a total of 18 suits related to the dispute. Of these, 15 suits have already been consolidated to be heard collectively.

The suits presented before the court pertain to a 13.37-acre land at Katra, Keshav Dev. The primary relief sought through these suits is an order for the removal of the mosque from the aforementioned land.

Many devotees of Lord Krishna have asserted that the Shahi Idgah Mosque stands on land that originally belonged to the deity, and that the true birthplace of Lord Krishna lies beneath its structure.

Allegations have been made that the 13.37 acres of land, which includes the mosque area, is sacred Krishna Janmbhoomi land.

Case Title: Bhagwan Shrikrishna Virajman At Katra Keshav Dev Khewat No. 255 And 7 Others v. U.P. Sunni Central Waqf Board And 3 Others And Connected Matters

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