The Supreme Court on Friday refused to order a scientific audit of the disputed Shri Krishna Janmabhoomi-Shahi Idgah Masjid land at Mathura to determine the contesting ownership claims of the two communities, saying it was for Allahabad High Court to determine the matter.
A bench of Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and Sudhanshu Dhulia passed the direction while refusing to entertain a special leave petition filed by the Krishna Janmabhoomi Mukti Nirman Trust against a July 2023 order passed by Allahabad High Court refusing to entertain its plea for directing a scientific audit of the premises spanning nearly 14 acres to decide the ownership claim.
The land is now under the control of the Shahi Idgah Masjid Trust. The Hindu side claims the area to be the birthplace of Lord Krishna. The Hindu litigants believe that the mosque was constructed by demolishing a portion of the adjoining temple during Aurangzeb’s time.
Senior advocate Gaurau Bhati, appearing for the Krishna Janambhoomi Trust, on Friday assailed the order of Allahabad High Court, arguing that the issue of ownership cannot be decided without conducting a scientific survey.
However, Justice Kaul, heading the bench, told the senior counsel that it was not inclined to entertain the appeal at this stage as the various other petitions and applications relating to the dispute were already pending adjudication before the high court, which should be left free to determine the plea for a scientific survey also.
The bench noted that the high court will be the court of first instance and the sole competent court to adjudicate the issues pertaining to the appointment of a local commission as provided under the Civil Procedure Code Order 26, Rule 9 (procedural directions) and also Oder VII, Rule 11 relating to rejection of the complaint filed by the Masjid Trust.