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Jamiat moves SC seeking dismissal of plea against Places of Worship Act

The Muslim body wants to intervene in the petition against the 1991 Act

June 06, 2022 10:25 pm | Updated 10:25 pm IST - NEW DELHI

An Aerial view shows Gyanvapi mosque, left, and Kashiviswanath temple on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi. File

An Aerial view shows Gyanvapi mosque, left, and Kashiviswanath temple on the banks of the river Ganges in Varanasi. File | Photo Credit: AP

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has moved the Supreme Court seeking the dismissal of a petition which challenges the validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act of 1991, a law which prohibits the conversion of any religious place.

The Muslim body wants to intervene in the petition against the 1991 Act, filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay.

The Jamiat argued that if the petition was entertained, it would open floodgates of litigation against “countless mosques in the country”.

‘List of mosques’

“There is a list of numerous mosques which is doing the rounds on social media, alleging that the said mosques were built allegedly by destroying Hindu places of worship… the religious divide from which the country is recovering in the aftermath of the Ayodhya dispute will only be widened,” the application said.

Last year, the apex court had asked for the government’s response to Mr. Upadhyay’s petition which challenged the provisions in the Act which froze the religious character of a place of worship as it had existed on August 15, 1947.

Mr. Upadhyay had found the cut-off date “arbitrary and irrational”, preventing Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs from approaching courts to “re-claim” their places of worship which were “invaded” and “encroached” upon by “fundamentalist barbaric invaders”.

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