SC rejects plea against Allahabad HC order dismissing PIL on Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura

Supreme Court
Supreme Court of India. Photo: AFP

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday rejected a plea challenging an Allahabad High Court order dismissing a PIL seeking a direction to the Uttar Pradesh government to acquire the Krishna Jahmabhoomi Janmasthan at Mathura and hand it over to the Hindus for worshipping Lord Krishna.

"The issue is already pending before the high court. Let's not have a multiplicity of litigation," a bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said while dismissing the appeal against the October 11, 2023 order of the high court.

Petitioner Mahek Maheshwari's counsel said the high court has dismissed the PIL on the ground that suits are pending. The bench said the petitioner had filed a PIL and that is why it was dismissed by the high court.

"We are not inclined to interfere with the impugned judgement, so the SLP is dismissed. We clarify that the dismissal of the SLP does not comment on the right of parties to challenge the vires of any enactment or prevents or bars any party from challenging the vires of any enactment," the bench ordered.

Maheshwari had said in his PIL that he is a devout Hindu and prayed that his fundamental right to worship be facilitated and protected.

His PIL before the high court said that the actual place of Krishna Jahmabhoomi Janmasthan over which the Shahi Idgah Mosque exists should be acquired by the state government and be handed over to the Hindus for worshipping Lord Krishna Virajman in the Krishna Janmasthan.

The state government's counsel had opposed the PIL, saying it is not in the public interest and espouses a personal cause since the petitioner claims to be a devout Hindu and ardent Krishna devotee.

The counsel pointed to the order passed by the high court on May 26, 2023, by which it transferred to itself 10 cases pending before the Civil Judge, Senior Division, Mathura. The cases raise the same issues as in the PIL.

The high court said, "The suits (pending before the high court) are for declaration, injunction and right to worship at the site of Shri Krishna Janmasthan and for removal of the structure alleged to be the Shahi Idgah Mosque. The pending suits involve the issues relating to interpreting various facts of statutes, constitutional law, personal law and common law."

"Since the issues involved in the present writ (PIL) are already engaging the attention of the Court in appropriate proceedings (i.e. the pending suits), we are not inclined to entertain the instant writ (PIL) and the same is accordingly dismissed," it ordered.

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