AIMPLB moves SC to defend Places of Worship Act

AIMPLB moves SC to defend Places of Worship Act

New Delhi: The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the Supreme Court opposing a batch of petitions challenging the validity of certain provisions of a 1991 law that prohibit the filing of a lawsuit to reclaim a place of worship or seek a change in its character from what prevailed on August 15, 1947.
In its impleadment application, the AIMPLB told the top court that the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 is a “progressive legislation” in line with the secular values of Indian polity and promotes harmony, public tranquillity and peace amongst the different sections of the people.
A bench headed by Chief Justice UU Lalit is scheduled to hear on October 11 a batch of petitions questioning the validity of certain provisions of the 1991 law.
The Muslim body in its application filed through advocate MR Shamshad contended that the Act does not violate any cultural rights of any section of the people
and is based on the fundamental features of the Constitution which are unamendable.
Therefore, any attempt to repeal the said Act or to amend the same annihilating the basic aims and objects or principles on which the said Act is based would be “unconstitutional and thus void”, the AIMPLB contended.
The impleadment application filed in the matter of ‘Vishwa Bhadra Purjari Purohit Mahasangh’ and others claimed that hearing the petitions challenging the validity of the law will only create problems on the ground and alleged that the litigants have a “political agenda”.
It added that “the Act is conceived to promote harmony amongst the different sections of the people and prevent the breach of public order and promote public tranquility and peace.
“The Act, therefore, does not violate any cultural rights of any section of the people. The Act envisages peaceful co-existence and thereby promotes the diversity of cultures in our country. The Act achieves the objective of promoting syncretic culture (Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeeb) which is the basic ethos of Indian culture”.
The AIMPLB claims that there are innumerable instances in history where the Jains and Buddhist places of worship have been converted to Hindu temples as well as Muslim places of worship have been converted to Gurudwaras and Hindu places of worship have been converted to mosques.
The Muslim body further said that the object and the purpose of the Act were to put an end to ancient and stale claims relating to the places of worship.
It said 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 tranquility of the society.

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