Supreme Court to hear pleas against the provisions of the Place of Worship Act, 1991

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The two-judge bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narsimha will hear a batch of PILs challenging the validity of provisions of the 1991 law. Today, the top court will hear the pleas filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay concerning Sections 2, 3, and 4 of the Place of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.  

The Place of Worship Act preserves the religious affiliation and nature of the place of worship as of August 15, 1947. According to Section 3 of the Act, it has been determined that no one is allowed to convert a place of worship of any religious denomination into a place of worship of a different section or the same section of the religious sect.

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 Today, the case related to Varanasi’s Gyanvapi and Mathura’s Shahi Idaq mosques will be addressed in context with the violation of the Places of Worship Act, 1991. On September 9, 2022, the Apex Court referred the case to a five-judge Constitution bench whereas BJP leader and former Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy asked the Apex Court to read down different provisions for enabling Hinds to claim over mosques. In this context, Advocate Ashwini Upadhaya stated that “the entire statute was unconstitutional; therefore, no reason of reading down arises.” 

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