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SC dismisses PIL for recognition of Shahi Idgah mosque as Lord Krishna's birthplace

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said there should not be a multiplicity of proceedings as a suit was already pending.
Last Updated : 05 January 2024, 08:03 IST

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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a PIL seeking a direction for the evaluation of Shahi Idgah mosque at Mathura by the Archaeological Survey of India and recognising it as Krishna Janmabhoomi.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta said there should not be a multiplicity of proceedings as a suit was already pending.

"Let us not have a multiplicity of litigation. You have filed it as PIL, which is why it was rejected. File it as otherwise, we will see (sic)," the bench told the petitioner's counsel.

The bench, however, clarified that the dismissal of the instant matter 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 plea was filed by Mahek Maheshwari, through advocates Durgesh Ramchandra Gupta, Anuj Saxena, and Anuj Ruhela.

Initially, the bench informed the petitioner's counsel that a separate plea is unnecessary when the matter is already pending. The counsel explained that the plea was dismissed by the Allahabad High Court on the basis that another suit by a different party was already in progress. The counsel expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the details of that suit.

The bench said there should not be a multiplicity of litigation and the petitioner had filed the matter as a PIL in the High Court, which is why it was rejected. Declining to entertain a separate plea, the bench said this plea can't be maintained.

The court, however, gave liberty to the petitioner to move before the High Court with a fresh plea.

The petitioner said he filed a PIL in November 2020 before the High Court on two issues: the first regarding the protection and facilitation of the rights to worship of Hindus at the disputed site of Krishna Janambhoomi and the second regarding the challenging the constitutional validity of the sections 2, 3, and 4 of Places of Worship Act, 1991. The plea said the High Court erred in noting the important fact that the dismissed PIL was the first one to be filed in the High Court in 2020, whereas many of the suits in the subject matters were filed much after but still, they were transferred to the High Court for hearing.

In October 2023, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking recognition of the Shahi Idgah mosque as Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura. The PIL, moved by advocate Maheshwari in 2020, had also sought the handover of the mosque to Hindus.

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Published 05 January 2024, 08:03 IST

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