Supreme Court directs dillydallying Modi Government to file reply on pleas challenging validity of Places of Worship Act

Why the Modi Govt is acting like an ostrich when they used this long-standing Hindu demand to win elections and come to power?

Why the Modi Govt is acting like an ostrich when they used this long-standing Hindu demand to win elections and come to power?
Why the Modi Govt is acting like an ostrich when they used this long-standing Hindu demand to win elections and come to power?

SC’s 3-judge bench to hear pleas challenging Places of Worship Act, 1991 in July

The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked Narendra Modi Government to file its reply to a series of PILs challenging the validity of certain provisions of the Places of Worship Act of 1991. BJP Government led by Modi has been dillydallying on this case for the past four years by not replying to the top court. The apex court was hearing petitions filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and advocate Ashwani Upadhyay and other petitions opposing the pleas. A bench of Chief Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice J B Pardiwala said the matter will be heard by a three-judge bench in July. “The pleas shall be listed before a three-judge bench in July 2023 and the Centre may file a reply by then,” it said.

Modi Government which preaches pro-Hindutwa has been dillydallying from replying to the petitions challenging the Places of Worship Act of 1991, which ensures the status quo of worshiping places as on August 15, 1947 (Independence Day), except for Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir. This Act blocks Right Wingers’ longstanding demand for the construction of the Shiva Temple in Varanasi and Sri Krishna Temple in Mathura. Narendra Modi Government is literally playing ostrich attitude in this case, though they used electoral gains on this long-standing Hindu demand to reach power.

The petitions filed by Right Wingers opposing the Places of Worship Act of 1991 demanded the quashing or partial changing of the Act, which ensures the character of places of worship from what prevailed on August 15, 1947, except Ayodhya’s Ram Mandir. There were many petitions opposing these petitions seeking the status quo as per the Act. Many times, the top court has sought Central Government’s view on this petitions, and Advocate Vrinda Grover pointed out that the government has not filed its reply.

On January 9, the top court asked the Centre to file its reply to the PILs against some provisions of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991, by February end. During the brief hearing on Wednesday, the court was informed by one of the lawyers in the case that the Centre has not yet filed an affidavit despite its order.

On November 14, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said the Centre will file a comprehensive affidavit dealing with various facets of the case and sought some time for deliberations at various levels of the government. The top court has listed for hearing six petitions, including the one filed by former Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy, against the provisions of the law.

Petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay has prayed that sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Act be set aside on the ground that they take away the right of judicial remedy to reclaim a place of worship of any person or a religious group. He has challenged the validity of certain provisions which provide for maintaining the status quo on the ownership and character of religious places as on August 15, 1947.

He has alleged that the 1991 law creates an “arbitrary and irrational retrospective cut-off date” of August 15, 1947, for maintaining the character of the places of worship or pilgrimage against encroachment done by “fundamentalist-barbaric invaders and law-breakers”.

While Swamy wanted the court to “read down” certain provisions to enable Hindus to stake claim over the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and the Shahi Idgah Mosque in Mathura, Upadhyay claimed the entire statute was unconstitutional and no question of reading down arises. However, the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has said the Act has been referred to by the five-judge Constitution bench judgment in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title case and cannot be set aside now.

Hearing the matter on September 9, the court said the pleas challenging the validity of certain provisions of the 1991 law could be referred to a five-judge Constitution bench for adjudication and asked the Centre to file a reply.

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  1. Why does the author call the petitioners “Right Wingers”? Does expressing and advocating Hindu interests make people “Right Wingers” ? What is this term “right wingers”.? The term is always used in a derogatory sense, only because it is supposed to be opposed to the “left”. By this attitude of derogation, the left and centre is imbued with political correctness and the right is denigrated. The so-called ‘Right’ is always identified with the Hindus , who are always to be looked down upon by the left and centre- and villifed as being somewhat demonaic.
    who created theses values? why are they being perpetrated? is there no other framework of definition of our value systems which do not ape western narratives?

    Does wanting the restoration of temples of worship to be given back to the people a “right wing” belief? If “right” was instead interpreted as “dharmic”, then there is no problem.But then, the word “dharmic’ should replace “right” in discourse- perhaps then some measure of respect for Hindus would be restored. [M.S.Vani]

  2. More Power to Swamy Sir. It will be an excellent use of his time and serves his intelligence and talents well if he focuses on such matters of interest to Hindus, rather than wasting his time and energy bashing Modi and his Govt.


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