A civil appeal has been preferred before the court of District Judge, Mathura, against a civil court order dismissing the suit for removal of Masjid Idgah, allegedly built on the land of Shrikrishna Janam Bhoomi. The Appellants have submitted that the Civil Judge was wrong in dismissing their suit an as much as they are worshippers of Lord Shri Krishna and they have 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 structural illegally raised by Muslims.

“It is the right and duty of the worshippers to make every endeavor 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 is submitted. The appeal is filed through Advocates Hari Shankar Jain, Vishnu Shankar Jain and Pankaj Kumar Verma. The matter is likely to beard at 2PM today. The Civil court in Mathura on September 30 refused to admit the civil suit on the ground that if suit is registered a large number of worshippers may come to the court.

Disputing this reasoning of the court, the Appellants 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 provisions of the order 1 rule 8 CPC and that the court in the appropriate case has power to treat any suit as representative suit when the interest of numerous persons are involved.”

The civil court had also remarked that the appellants herein do not have a Right to sue. Challenging this finding, they have 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 motto the question of right to sue. Even the court below did not call upon the counsel for the plaintiffs to address on the point of locus standi.”

It was further submitted that they had chosen to file the suit as the trust was not functioning and it had taken no action to recover the property belonging to the deity. The memo of appeal states, “the suit has been filed by the deity through next friend and deity has right to be represented through next friend in case the manager , she bait or persons in charge of affair are negligent in performance of their duty or in case when their action is hostile to the interest of deity and devotees.”

The original suit was been filed in the name of Bhagwan ShriKrishna Virjman, through next friend Ranjana Agnihotri. The list of Petitioners also included six devotees.

The Plea sought “removal of encroachment and superstructure illegally raised by Committee of Management of alleged Trust Masjid Idgah with the consent of Sunni central board of waqf…at katra keshav dev. city Mathura belonging to deity Shree Krishna Virjman.”

The first Petitioner i.e. the deity himself was described as minor, juristic person who can sue and be sued through she bait and in his absence through next friend. The second plaintiff was Shree Krishna Janambhoomi- the place of birth of Lord 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 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 Janamsthan 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 birth place of Lord Krishna lies beneath the construction raised by Committee of Management i.e. Trust Masjid Idgah. The true fact will come out before the court after excavation.”

The appeal discloses that the Civil Judge mentioned that compromise had been entered into between Trust Masjid Idgah and Krishna Janamsthan Trust whereas the plaintiffs had clearly stated in the plaint that the compromise was made between Shri Krishna Janamsthan Sewa Sangh and Trust Masjid Idgah ; and Shri Krishna Janamsthan Trust was not party to the compromise and it had not filed the suit.

Therefore, the impugned judgment is stated to be based upon wrong assumption of fact and suffering from non-application of mind. The array of Defendants in his matter include the Sunni Central Board of  Waqf, which is alleged to have granted approval to the committee of management trust masjid idgah to enter into a compromise with Shree Krishna Janamsthan Seva Sangh, giving away some of the deity land for building the Mosque.

Further , the Committee of Management of Trust masjid Idgah is alleged to have put super structure and encroached upon the land of Katra Keshav Dev. without any authority of law and in utter violation of decree of the Court.

Furthermore, Shree Krishna Janamsthan Trust was arrayed as an opposite party, as it was contended that the trust has remained non-functional since 1958 and it has “failed to protect, manage and save the property of the deity.”

The Appellant- Plaintiffs have emphasized that the suit was filed for the “welfare and benefit” of the deity and the devoted at large and further classified that they had not prayed for handling over management of property to them but have prayed  that encroachment be removed and property be handed over to Shri Krishna Janambhoomi Trust .

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