Six pleas challenge Places of Worship Act

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Six pleas challenge Places of Worship Act

  • The Supreme Court frowned upon more and more petitions being filed, challenging the Places of Worship Act.
  • A Bench led by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud gave six new petitioners liberty to intervene in a case, in which the top court had already sought the government’s response last year.

What the act says?

  • The Act mandates that the identity of a religious place of worship as it had existed on August 15, 1947, should not be changed.
  • However, petitioner had argued that the cut-off date was “arbitrary and irrational”.

What the Petitioners say?

  • The Act, by fixing a retrospective cut-off date, illegally barred Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs from approaching courts to “re-claim” their places of worship that were “invaded” and “encroached” upon by “fundamentalist barbaric invaders”.
  • “The Act declared that character of places of worship-pilgrimage shall be maintained as it was on August 15, 1947 and no suit or proceeding shall lie in court in respect of disputes against encroachment done by fundamentalist barbaric invaders and law breakers and such proceeding shall stand abated.”
  • One of the new petitions accuses the 1991 Act of “validating the illegal and barbarus action of invaders”.

Prelims Take Away

  • Supreme Court
  • Places of Worship Act