The Supreme Court today paused an Allahabad High Court order that allowed a court-monitored survey of the 17th century Shahi Idgah Mosque in Uttar Pradesh’s Mathura.
The high court – along the lines of that conducted at the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi – last month gave its nod to the survey by a court-appointed and monitored advocate commissioner.
The bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Dipankar Datta questioned the “vague” application made before the high court for appointment of a court commissioner for the survey. “You can’t file a vague application for appointment of court commissioner. It should be very specific on the purpose. You can’t leave everything to the court to look into it,” the Supreme Court said.
The Supreme Court was hearing a petition filed by the Muslim side challenging the high court order that allowed mosque survey by a commissioner.
Hindu outfits have claimed the mosque was built on the birthplace of Lord Krishna and had demanded a survey. The demand was admitted by a local court in December last year but the Muslim side had filed an objection in the high court.
The Hindu side had filed a petition in a Mathura court demanding full ownership of the contested 13.37 acres of land, claiming the centuries-old mosque was built by demolishing the Katra Keshav Dev temple that stood there earlier. They alleged this was ordererd by Mughal emperer Aurangzeb.
The petitioners claim, as evidence, the existence of carvings of lotuses on some walls of the mosque, as well shapes supposedly resembling of ‘sheshnag’ – the snake demigod in Hindu mythology. This, they had argued, shows the mosque was built over the temple.
The Muslim side had earlier sought to dismiss the petition by citing the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which maintains the religious status of any place of worship as it was on August 15, 1947.