All India Muslim Personal Law Board opposes plea challenging Places of Worship Act in SC

Supreme Court of India. [File Photo]

New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has opposed the plea filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay had filed a petition challenging the Constitutional validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 (Act) in the Supreme Court, news agency ANI reported.

The Act bars the conversion of any place of worship of any religious denomination into a place of worship of a different religious denomination. It also bars the filing of any suit or initiating any other legal proceeding for a conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, as existing on August 15, 1947.

Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani said in a press statement, “the Board has sought impleadment in two Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.”

In the applications, it has been 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”.

The applications point out that considering the nature of legislation under the 1991 Act and the affirmation of the Act by the Supreme Court as being a reflection of the basic features of the Constitution, granting indulgence to Petitions such as the present ones, will only create problems 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, the report said.

“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 statement reads.

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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