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Tags Current Affairs

Places of Worship Act

Date: 18 May 2022 Tags: Bills & Laws

Issue

The opposing party to videographic survey of Gyanvapi mosque has cited The Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

 

Background

A Varanasi court has given decision to conduct videographic survey to ascertain origin of the mosque.

 

Details

  • The Places of Worship Act, 1991 seeks to maintain religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August, 1947.

  • A section of the law prevents conversion of a place of worship of any religious denomination into a place of worship of a different religious denomination.

  • Suits and appeals pending before any courts on the date of commencement of the Act shall be saved but new appeals or suits related to religious character will be dismissed.

  • A special provision in the act ensures that the law does not apply to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case.

 

Opposition to the law

Petitions have been filed in Supreme Court regarding the validity of the law as it bars judicial review, which is a basic feature of the Constitution.

 

Support of the law

  • Various courts have in past upheld the law saying that it provides confidence to every religious community that their places of worship will be preserved and the character will not be altered.

  • The law is a legislative instrument developed to protect the secular features of the Indian polity, which is one of the basic features of the Constitution.

 

Other related observations

The need to uphold the law is an obligation of not just the state but all the citizens living in the country.

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