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Plea in Supreme Court challenges grant of Krishna Janma Bhoomi to Muslims through 1968 agreement

In 1968, the Seva Sansthan Society held a meeting and appointed Deodhar Shastri as its authorized person who could sign the Memorandum of understanding with the Muslims and the Shahi Eidgah Committee.

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A Petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the grant of Krishna Janma Bhoomi to Muslims through an agreement. The petition has been filed in the Supreme Court by Advocate Manohar Lal Sharma.

In the petition, the Central Government, Uttar Pradesh, Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, Kumar Mangalam Birla, Shobhana Bhartia, Siddharth Kumar Birla and Shri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan have been made parties.

The petition said that by cheating the Hindus, the property of the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust was unauthorizedly compromised and given to Shahi Eidgah, which is wrong.

The Court should declare that the agreement entered into by the Sri Krishna Janma Seva Sansthan with Shahi Idgah on August 12, 1968 was without jurisdiction, so it is not binding on anyone.

The petition also demanded that the Special Investigation Team should be constituted by the Srikrishna Seva Sansthan to give the property of the Krishna Janmabhoomi and Trust to Muslims without agreement and cheating the Hindus through agreement and the members of the Seva Sansthan, to be prosecuted under various sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC).

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This is the second time for Sharma to reach the Supreme Court in the Krishna Janmabhoomi case. Even before this, he has filed a petition in 1998, in which, the notice was also served, but after that the petition was dismissed due to his Advocate not appearing on the hearing.

Advocate Sharma has cited all the details of the ownership over the property of Krishna Janma Bhoomi Katra Keshav Deo and the decisions that have come from the Courts from time to time. 

The petition has also demanded that the Supreme Court order the Central government and the Uttar Pradesh government to deploy special forces to secure the Krishna Janmabhoomi in Mathura. 

In addition, the Court, with the consent of the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trustees, directed the Central and Uttar Pradesh government to acquire and manage the Katura Keshav Deo Krishna Janmabhoomi, Masjid Idgah in Mathura, and its management.

The Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust was formed by Jugal Kishore Birla and the Birla family is a lifetime trustee of the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, hence the members of the Birla family have been made parties in the petition.

The petition cited various rulings in the District Court of Mathura and Allahabad High Court from 1921 to 1946. It assumes that Katra was under the jurisdiction of Keshav Deo Raja Patnimal and then his successor Rai Kishan Das. On February 8, 1944, Jugal Kishore Birla bought Katra Keshav Deo, including Idgah and Prison, from Rai Kishan Das and Rai Anand Das for Rs 13,400.

The land was registered in the name of Madan Mohan Malviya, Goswami Ganesh Dutt and Bhikhen Lalji Aattrey.  The entire land was occupied by Jugal Kishore Birla. In 1951, Jugal Kishore Birla formed the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, which had three conditions. The first Katra will be renovated and the temple of Lord Krishna will be built there and the teachings of the Gita will be preached. No part of the second property will be given or pledged to anyone. The third Birla family will be the life trustees of this trust, it cannot be removed.

The petition said that in 1958 Jaydev Dalmiya, who was presently the president of Vishva Hindu Parishad and some others, together registered a society called Sri Krishna Janmasthan Seva Sansthan in Agra.

The society started renovating Katra Keshav Deo in 1958. In 1964, the Society filed suit in the court of Mathura and demanded the removal of Idgah. Jugal Kishore Birla died on June 21, 1967.

In 1968, the Seva Sansthan Society held a meeting and appointed Deodhar Shastri as its authorized person who could sign the Memorandum of understanding with the Muslims and the Shahi Eidgah Committee. 

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Subsequently, in 1968, the Society entered into an agreement with the Shahi Eidgah Committee and handed over the entire management of Idgah to the Muslims. This settlement deed was filed in the court and on the basis of this, the Society withdrew the suit.

In 1993, Manohar Lal Sharma and two others filed suit in the Court of Mathura demanding the removal of the Seva Sansthan Society, but the Society in its court reply said that the Society and the Trust are separate legal persons and the Society does not represent the trust can based on this, Sharma’s case was dismissed.

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