SC refuses to order scientific survey of Mathura’s Shahi Idgah mosquetext_fields
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to order a scientific survey of the Shahi Idgah mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura city, Bar and Bench reported.
A bench comprising Justices SK Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia was hearing a petition filed by the Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust.
The petitioners sought a scientific survey of the mosque, claiming that it was built over the birthplace of the Hindu deity Krishna.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia noted that the High Court is yet to decide on the application under Order 26 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code which relates to the appointment of commissioners.
The bench said it was not a fit case for it to exercise its jurisdiction under Article 136 of the Constitution, under which the Supreme Court can grant special leave to appeal against the order of any court.
Earlier this year, a trial court in Uttar Pradesh and the Allahabad High Court had rejected the Hindu Trust's plea for a survey, leading to the appeal before the Supreme Court.
The Trust contended before the Supreme Court that a scientific survey led by a commissioner is necessary to ensure the credibility of claims made over the site.
Further, the Muslim side has been offering prayers at the site, using the premises as restrooms, and "creating nuisance" at a place considered holy or a place of worship, the Trust said, reports the Bar and Bench.
There has been continuous "digging" and destruction of Hindu symbols, temple pillars, and other important temple elements and this has caused damage to the sanctity and cultural heritage of the site, the plea further alleged.
On May 19 last year, the Mathura district court had held that a suit to remove the Shahi Idgah mosque was maintainable and directed the civil court to hear both the parties in the case. The district court had also said that the Places of Worship Act would not apply to the case.
The Act bars any changes to the religious character of places of worship as they stood at the time of Independence. It was passed at the height of the Babri Masjid dispute to prevent similar communal tussles over places of worship.
The Act, however, provided an exception for the Babri Masjid site.
On May 26, the Allahabad High Court had directed that all matters pertaining to the dispute be transferred to it.
Senior Advocate and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Gaurav Bhatia appeared for the Trust. Advocate Tasneem Ahmadi appeared for the Shahi Masjid Eidgah Management Committee.