SC reminds 1991 Act: No religious character finding in place of worship

22 May, 2022 | Pravina Srivastava

Supreme Court's panel of Justices had stated the district judge would decide on the Mosque Management Committee's plea

Supreme Court’s panel of Justices DY Chandrachud, Surya Kant, and PS Narashima had stated the district judge would decide on the Mosque Management Committee’s plea that the litigation is “unmaintainable” since it violates the 1991 Protection of Places of Worship Act.

The bench remarked that these provisions were discussed in the Ayodhya judgement. Determining the religious character of a place of worship is not expressly forbidden. The five-judge court that issued its judgement in the Ayodhya dispute in 2019 included Justice Chandrachud, who spoke on behalf of the bench.”

Anjuman Intejamiya Masjid, the group in charge of Varanasi’s Gyanvapi Masjid, was appealing the Allahabad High Court’s ruling to the Supreme Court. The High Court had declined to intervene in the trial court’s decision to appoint a court commissioner.

The committee’s senior advocate, Huzefa Ahmadi, stated that a discourse is being formed and the commission’s findings is being released selectively, disrupting communal unity. He went on to say that it shouldn’t be judged solely on the basis of one trial, but that the results can be seen all around the country. However, the court assured him that it would not allow this to happen.

Even though the court has allowed Muslims to pray at the mosque, Ahmadi claims that some parts of it have been locked and worshipers are not allowed to use water for wudu.

In response, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, speaking on behalf of the Uttar Pradesh government, stated that the above fact could not be true because alternative arrangements for wazu have been arranged and security has been provided to cope with any law and order crisis.

The location has been shut so that (the Shivling) cannot be desecrated, according to senior counsel CS Vaidyanathan, who is representing the Hindu worshippers.