SC seeks govts response on Places of Worship Act validity
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NEW DELHI: Sixteen months after deciding the Ayodhya land dispute, the Supreme Court on Friday sought the Centre’s response to a PIL difficult the validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 which barred courts from entertaining civil fits for altering the character of non secular locations from what it was on the time of Independence.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde, who was a part of the five-judge bench that determined the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute in favour of Hindus on November 9, 2019, and Justice A S Bopanna issued notices to the ministries of house, legislation and tradition on the PIL filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.
The PIL mentioned the Centre had created arbitrary and irrational retrospective cutoff date of August 15, 1947 for sustaining the character of non secular locations and barred submitting of any swimsuit in courts in respect of “disputes against encroachment done by fundamentalist, barbaric invaders and law-breakers” and all pending fits on this regard shall stand abated.
Rao govt introduced in Act in face of Babri marketing campaign
The Act had made a lone exception for the Ayodhya case because the dispute had been festering for hundreds of years. “The Centre has barred remedies against illegal encroachment on places of worship and pilgrimage and now Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs can’t file suit or approach a high court under Article 226. Therefore, they won’t be able to restore their places of worship and pilgrimage as guaranteed under Articles 25-26 of the Constitution and illegal barbarian acts of invaders will continue in perpetuity,” he mentioned.
The Places of Worship Act was enacted by the Narasimha Rao authorities within the face of a marketing campaign began by VHP for management of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and Shahi Idgah in Mathura. VHP has argued that the mosques on the websites in query had been constructed after demolishing Hindu temples and ought to be handed again to the bulk group.
The Rao authorities introduced the legislation to freeze and preserve the denominational character of all locations of worship, barring the Babri-Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi complicated in Ayodhya, because it existed on August 15, 1947.
An analogous PIL filed by an affiliation of monks by advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain can be pending with the courtroom. This PIL has sought scrapping of the 1991 legislation, ostensibly to revive litigation on disputed non secular websites in Mathura (Krishna Janmasthan) and Varanasi (Kashi Vishwanath temple-mosque).
This plea had evoked sharp reactions from Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, which had moved the SC terming this a surreptitious try to right historic wrongs and warning that it was fraught with the chance of unleashing a barrage of litigations.
In its 1,045 web page Ayodhya judgment, the SC had referred to the1991 Act and mentioned, “In offering a assure for preservation of the non secular character of locations of public worship as they existed on August 15, 1947, and towards the conversion of locations of public worship, Parliament decided that independence from colonial rule furnishes a constitutional foundation for therapeutic the injustices of the previous by offering the arrogance to each non secular group that their locations of worship might be preserved and that their character won’t be altered. “ The Places of Worship Act is a legislative intervention which preserves non-retrogression as a necessary function of our secular values.”
Upadhyay’s petition made a robust pitch for the courtroom to revisit its stand. “Hindus are fighting for restoration of the birthplace of Lord Krishna from hundreds of years and peaceful agitation continues but while enacting the Act, the Centre excluded the birthplace of Lord Ram in Ayodhya but not the birthplace of Krishna, though both are incarnations of Vishnu,” he mentioned.
Upadhyay mentioned Islamic rule was established in India after 1192 when Muhammad Ghori defeated Prithviraj Chauhan and that foreigners dominated India until it gained independence in 1947.
Therefore, if any deadline was to be fastened for sustaining the character of non secular locations, then it ought to be 1192 as after that, hundreds of temples and shrines of Hindus, Buddhists and Jains had been broken and transformed to mosques by Muslim rulers, he mentioned.


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