Criminal Trident Pack: IPC, CrPC and IEA by Sr. Adv. G.S Shukla and Adv. Raghav Arora
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  • A Mathura District Court has held that the suit to remove the Shahi Idgah Masjid, allegedly built on the land of Shrikrishna Janam Bhoomi is maintainable. 
  • With this, the Court allowed a revision plea filed by the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust and overturned a civil Court order dismissing their suit in September, 2020. 
  • The Revisionists/petitioners sought cancellation of a compromise decree of 1974 entered into between the Shri Krishna Janamsthan Seva Sansthan and the Shahi Idgah Trust, on the basis of which a suit filed in 1964 was compromised, was fraudulent. It was stated that in the agreement, the Sansthan had conceded the property of the deity/trust in favour of the Trust Masjid Idgah. The same was challenged in the suit of 2020. 
  • The suit of 2020 was dismissed under order 7 Rule 11 on the ground that the plaintiffs had no right to file the suit. 
  • In the present case, the Mathura Court has also observed that the provisions of the The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, was not applicable to the present situation. It was observed that since the agreement and the subsequent compromise decree had been challenged by the plaintiff, the Places of Worship Act would not be applicable in light of section 4(3)(b) of the same. 
  • The Court observed that the Act does not debar those cases where the declaration is sought for a period prior to the coming into force of the Act in 1991 or, for the enforcement of the right which was recognised before the Act came into force. 
  • It is important to note that section 4(3)(b) of the Act clearly states that the bar under section 4 would not be applicable to those suits, appeals or other proceedings with respect to any matter referred to in sub-section 2 settled, disposed of or finally decided by a Court, tribunal or authority before the commencement of the Act. 
  • The Court also observed that a worshipper as the next friend of the deity can file a suit for the restoration and re-establishment of religious rights of the deity. 
  • It was also observed that at the stage of admission of the suit and while exercising powers under order 7 rule 11 of CPC, the Court cannot look into the merits of the case, and thus, the lower Court had committed an error in passing the order of 2020. 
  • Thus, while allowing the revision, the District Court directed the Trial Court to hear both the parties and to pass appropriate orders in light of the observations of the District Court. 
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