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Krishna Janmabhoomi case: SC disposes of plea against HC order

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday disposed of a fresh plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order consolidating 15 suits related to Mathura’s Sri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid dispute.

A bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta gave the Committee of Management Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah, which has challenged the January 11 order, the liberty to pursue its recall application before the high court.

“The petitioner has called for recall of impugned judgement of Allahabad High Court. We dispose of the present SLP with liberty to revive the recall petition before the high court,” the bench ordered.

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Counsel for the Committee said the application for recall of the January 11 order is pending before the high court. She requested the court to direct listing of the application before the high court on a specific date.

However, the bench refused to pass any such order.

On January 11, the high court “in interest of justice” directed that the 15 suits on an application filed by the Hindu plaintiff be consolidated.

The Hindu plaintiff submitted before the high court in the application that after the original suit was filed before the civil judge (senior division), Mathura, on September 25, 2020, several other suits were filed with regard to the 13.37 acre land.

The high court had ordered, “These suits are of similar nature. The proceedings in these suits can be taken up and the suits may be decided simultaneously on the basis of common evidence. To save the time of the Court, the expenses to be incurred to the parties, and to avoid conflicting judgments it appears expedient in the interest of justice to consolidate the suits with each other.”

On January 29, the top court had ordered continuance of the interim stay on the operation of the Allahabad High Court order for a court-monitored survey of the Shahi Idgah Mosque complex adjoining the Krishna Janmabhoomi temple in Mathura.

On January 16, it stayed the operation of the December 14, 2023 order of the Allahabad High Court allowing a court-monitored survey of the Shahi Idgah Mosque complex.

It also stayed the order of the high court by which it agreed to the appointment of a court commissioner to oversee the survey of the mosque premises. The Hindu side claims it has signs suggesting it was once a temple.

The apex court, however, made it clear that the proceedings before the high court in the dispute, including the maintainability of the suit under Order 7 Rule 11 of the Civil Procedure Code (CPC), will continue.

The top court is already seized of another petition filed by the mosque committee challenging the May 26, 2023 order of the high court transferring to itself all matters related to the dispute pending before a Mathura court.

The Hindu side had made a prayer before the high court that it should conduct the original trial like it had done in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi title dispute.

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