Challenge to Places of Worship Act, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind Opposes Pujari Mahasangh’s Plea in Supreme Court

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The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has filed a plea in the Supreme Court. It challenges the petition filed by Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh. The earlier petition had challenged Section 4 of the Places of Worship Act, 1991.

There is a “positive obligation” to maintain religious character under Section 4 of the Places of Worship Act. 

Petitioner’s Submission

Advocate Ejaz Maqbool filed the application. The Application said that the organization wants the Supreme Court to not approve of the petition by the Pujari Mahasangh. The petitioner stated that it would create fear in the minds of the Muslim community. The application by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind also relies on the principles of secularism. It claims that the petition against the Act should not be entertained by the Court. This is because it is most likely to destroy the secular idea of the nation.

It is stated that the Mahasangh is targeting places of worship of the Muslim community. They further say that, “…this Hon’ble Court itself noted that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 protects and secures the fundamental values of the Constitution”. This was said in reference to the Ayodhya Judgment. Furthermore, “The history and its wrongs shall not be used as instruments to oppress the present and the future”.

They added that there is a possibility that claims made by the Mahasangh turn out to be true. But still, the plea is for historical wrongs that cannot get corrected in the present. Thus, the Applicant claimed that the Court should not entertain the petition filed by the Pujari Mahasangh.

Court’s Observation

According to the provision, the status of all places of worship remains the same as it existed on August 15, 1947. Hence, any legal proceedings in relation to those places of worship would be as per the Act of 1991. 

The Pujari Mahasangh earlier moved a petition before the Supreme Court. It challenged the validity of Section 4 of the Places of Worship Act,1991. The plea objected the provision restricting people from their right to legal remedy. Further, it states that it violates the principles of secularism.


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