Published On: Fri, Dec 15th, 2023

SC rejects refuses to stay HC orders for survey of Mathura mosque complex

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday declined to stay the Allahabad High Court’s order for appointing a court commissioner to conduct a survey of the Shahi Eidgah mosque complex in Mathura, which is claimed by some Hindu groups as the birthplace of Lord Krishna.

The bench said that it could not pass any interim order at this stage

The Eidgah mosque committee had moved the Supreme Court against the High Court’s order, alleging that it was illegal and arbitrary.

“At this stage, we will not stay anything. Let him continue. If any adverse order is passed, you can come,” Justice Sanjiv Khanna, presiding over a two-judge bench, told Senior Advocate Huzefa Ahmadi who appeared for the Committee of Management Trust Shahi Masjid Idgah that approached the Supreme Court against the order passed Thursday by Justice Mayank Kumar Jain of the Allahabad High Court.

Ahmadi pointed out that the Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the mosque committee’s plea challenging the Allahabad High Court order transferring all petitions in connection with the Mathura dispute to itself, and that the High Court in the meanwhile had passed an interlocutory order allowing the appointment of the commissioner.

“When Your Lordships are due to hear these matters on January 8, the High Court should not proceed with these interlocutory orders. It will have far-reaching consequences,” Ahmadi said, adding that he had not been able to produce the order allowing the appointment of the commissioner.

He said the matter is now listed before the High Court next week “for modalities of the appointment of the commissioner while Your Lordships are to consider whether the High Court has jurisdiction to hear the suit”.

The bench, also comprising Justice SVN Bhatti, told Ahmadi that he can tell the High Court about the Supreme Court’s observations and that if there is any emergency, he can mention it for listing before the Supreme Court.

Ahmadi said his difficulty is that the Supreme Court will be on vacation recess next week and will reopen only on January 3. The Supreme Court will close for Christmas and New Year holidays from December 19.

The beach said it cannot stay an order which was not before it.

In its order, the bench said, “The SLP is listed on January 9, 2024. Let it come up for hearing on the same date. All issues and contentions raised will be considered.”

At least a dozen cases have been filed in courts in Mathura by different petitioners. A common thread in all the petitions is a prayer for the removal of the mosque from the 13.37-acre complex, which it shares with the Katra Keshav Dev temple.

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