The Allahabad High Court has restored a PIL petition seeking to hand over Mathura’s Shahi Masjid which stands adjacent to Sri Krishna Temple, to Hindus. This petition was earlier dismissed on January 19, 2021. The Court stated that ‘Order dated January 19, 2021, dismissing the main petition in default is recalled. The main petition is restored to its original number. Let the main petition be now listed as per roster on July 25, 2022,” the order stated.’

    The matter is concerning Mathura’s Shahi Masjid which was built at Krishna Janmabhoomi. It sought an interim relief to permit Hindus to worship at the Masjid certain days a week and on Janmashtami. The plea claimed that ‘the Government’s official website of Mathura District states that Shahi mosque was built after demolition of Krishna Janmabhoomi by Aurangzeb. Krishna Janmabhoomi on Krishna Janmashtami has an overriding claim over any mosque. This is the fundamental truth in the Krishna Janmabhoomi dispute.’ It says that a mosque is not an essential part of Islam but for Hindus even if a site of worship is in ruins, it would still be important for their purpose of praying.

    This petition also sought for declaration of key provisions of the Places of Worship Act, which prohibits conversion of any place of worship and provides for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed at the time of independence, as unconstitutional. Earlier, this petition was dismissed due to alleged absence of the petitioner but now Allahabad High Court has again restored the plea and has listed it to be heard on July 25, 2022.

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