Home Legal News Challenging Places of Worship Act would damage secular fabric of the nation: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind opposes Pujari Mahasangh’s plea in SC

Challenging Places of Worship Act would damage secular fabric of the nation: Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind opposes Pujari Mahasangh’s plea in SC

by Muskan
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind
The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the SC opposing the petition filed by VishwaBhadra Pujari PurohitMahasangh challenging Section 4 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act,1991.

The organization Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind states that if the petition by the Pujari Mahasangh is entertained it would create fear in the minds of the Muslim community.

The Pujari Mahasangh had moved the Supreme Court to challenge the validity of Section 4 of the Places of Worship Act, contending that the provision has barred people from exercising right to legal remedy in cases pertaining to places of worship.

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According to the provision, the status of all places of worship stood solidified on the basis of their status as it existed on August 15, 1947 and any legal proceedings in relation to those places of worship stood abated after the enactment of the said Act.

The petition by the Pujari Mahasangh in case of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind averred that the same was in violation of the principles of secularism.

While the application by Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind also relies on the principles of secularism, it states that if the petition is entertained by the Court, the same is likely to destroy the secular fabric of the nation. It says,

“…even issuance of notice in the present matter will create fear in the minds of the Muslim Community with regard to their places of worship, especially in the aftermath of the Ayodhya Dispute and will destroy the secular fabric of the nation.”

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind contends that the Mahasangh is indirectly targeting the places of worship of the Muslim community by arguing that the members of Hindu faith are being barred from reclaiming their places of worship which were allegedly encroached upon

The applicant also avers that the provision challenged by the Mahasangh is in fact one that preserves the religious nature of every place of worship on the basis of where it stood when India secured independence from Colonial rule.

Further arguing that section 4 of the Places of Worship Act places a “positive obligation” to maintain religious character of the places of worship which was also recognized by the Supreme Court itself in its recent judgment in the Ayodhya case, it stated,

“…this Hon’ble Court itself noted that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act,1991 protects and secures the fundamental values of the Constitution.”

The application adds that The Places of Worship Act is “intrinsically related to the obligation of a secular State” and isreflective of India’s commitment to secularism and equality of all faiths.

This Act is in confirmitywith the State’s duty to protect and preserve all faiths and religions, it is stated. Further, the Act is a reminder that historical wrongs cannot be solvedby taking law in their own hands. It states,

“In preserving the character of places of public worship, Parliament has mandated in no uncertain terms that history and its wrongs shall not be used as instruments to oppress the present and the future.”

The applicant-organization observes that even if the averments made by the Mahasangh are assumed to be true, what is sought by them is for historical wrongs to be corrected now.

Citing the Ayodhya case, the applicant submitted in case of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind that the Supreme Court had itself held that law cannot be used as a tool to go back in time and provide a remedy for everyone who disagreed with the discourse of that time. Courts cannot take cognizance of historical wrongs of the past unless it can be shown that the same have a bearing on enforceable rights in the present time.

Therefore,the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind submits that in view of the legal principle laid down by the five-Judge Constitution Bench in the Ayodhya case, the petition filed by the Pujari Mahasangh ought not to be entertained.

This application is filed through Advocate Ejaz Maqbool and drawn by Advocates Shahid Nadeem and AkritiChaubey along with Maqbool.

Read the Aplication here :

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