Muslim Law Board files petition in SC opposing claims that the Places of Worship Act is unconstitutional

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By Special Correspondent

New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Thursday  moved the Supreme Court of India opposing pleas challenging  to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.  The pleas were filed by the Hindutva elements seeking to do away with the act which protects the status quo of places of worship as on 15 August 1947.

“The Board has requested  inclusion in two Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991,” Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani stated in a news release.

In the Application, Board has  submitted that the assailed Petitions relate to unsettling a law about which the Supreme Court has already stated that the said law is “the commitment of India to the equality of all religions” and further stated that the Act “is an affirmation of the solemn duty which was cast upon the State to preserve and protect the equality of all faiths as an essential constitutional value, a norm which has the status of being a basic feature of the Constitution”.

It further pointed out that granting indulgence to petitions like the ones in the present will only exacerbate issues on the ground rather than resolving the claims of the alleged violation of fundamental rights of the litigants who have their political agenda on priority. Considering   the nature of legislation under the 1991 Act and the Supreme Court’s affirmation of the Act as being a reflection of the fundamental features of the Constitution, it added.

“Such disputes disturb the social fabric of Society by polarizing the people on the ground of religion particularly when our country has witnessed blood baths after the controversy erupted in respect of Babri Masjid”.

The Applications emphasize that the object and the purpose of the 1991 Act is to put an end to alleged claims relating to the places of worship.  It has been further stressed that any dispute relating to a place of worship between different communities is highly sensitive and endangers the breach of public order and disturbs the peace and tranquillity of society.

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