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Dismiss petition to remove Mathura mosque: IIM-A students write to Allahabad HC CJ

By Our Representative

A plea, launched by three Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A) students, and signed by 70 persons, most of them part of the “IIM-A community”, has sought Allahabad High Court chief justice Govind Mathur’s intervention to dismiss move before a district court and the High Court seeking the removal a 17th century Shahi Idgah mosque adjacent to the Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura, calling the temple and the mosque symbols of “religious harmony in our country.”
Post-graduate students Shreshth Virmani, Vikas Kumar and Raghav Gupta, in their plea ask Justice Mathur to “take cognizance” of the plea, pointing out, while the Mathura district court admitted a plea that seeks to remove the 17th century Shahi Idgah mosque, a writ petition filed by advocate Mahek Maheshwari has also been filed in the Allahabad High Court seeking removal of the mosque.
Pointing out that the subject matter of the petition is “unconstitutional within the Places of Worship Act, 1991”, the IIM-A students say, “The Act prohibits change in religious character of any place of worship built before August 15, 1947. Further, the Act also barred any legal proceedings to change the character of any religious place.”
They continue, “Five-judge bench of the Honourable Supreme Court of India headed by then Chief Justice Honourable Ranjan Gogoi, in Ayodhya Verdict had dealt with the 1991 Act and said that the law is a legislative instrument designed to protect the secular features of Indian polity, which is one of the basic features of the Indian Constitution.”
“Further”, the plea to the Allahabad HC chief justice says, “Hearings on Krishna Janmabhoomi will lead to widespread communal disharmony in the country. For centuries, Shahi Idgah Mosque and Krishna Janmabhoomi temples have stood adjacent to each other bearing witness to Hindu-Muslim harmony in the country.”
The plea says, The petition before the court “is an attempt to disturb peace and deviate the public's attention from pressing issues such as the pandemic and the high unemployment rate”, adding, entertaining it will “set a dangerous precedent and the courts will be overwhelmed by countless disputes between temples, mosques, synagogues and churches.”

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