NEW DELHI: NGO All India Muslim Personal Law Board has filed a plea before the Supreme Court asking it not interfere with the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 in view of alleged disturbance to law and order situation.
In its impleadment application, AIMPLB claimed there appears to be a trend of filing the PIL petitions selectively targeting the issues relating to a particular minority community with the intention to use the pendency of such cases to fuel hate politics on the ground.
“This court must not allow such unregulated PILs which has potential to create uncalled for new items; consequentially leading to publicity stunts for these petitioners,” it said.
Acting on a PIL by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay against the law which mandated for maintaining the character of religious places as prevailed on August 15, 1947, a bench led by Chief Justice U U Lalit had on September 9 gave the Union government time to file a reply to the notice issued on March 12, 2021. The court had then fixed the matter for hearing on October 11.
The plea by AIMPLB claimed that the 1991 Act does not violate any cultural rights of any section of the people and it envisages peaceful co-existence and thereby promotes diversity of cultures in our country. “The Act achieves the objective of promoting syncretic culture (Ganga-Jamuna Tehzeeb) which are the basic ethos of Indian culture,” it said.
Maintaining that the 1991 Act is religion neutral, AIMPLB also claimed the petitioners are wrecking vengeance on the present generation of the Muslims who had played no part in inflicting such alleged insults on the Hindus of the distant past.
“Generally, such controversies are revived by the dominant group against the subservient group which results in the infliction of insult and humiliation of the subservient group. Such revival far from inflicting the rights of life and liberty of the persons of the dominant group it definitely infringes Article 21 of the Constitution of persons belonging to the subservient group. Such activities generally are resorted to by non-state actors enjoying tacit support of the present establishment. They are the hands of the present establishment,” it said.
The plea also claimed there are innumerable instances in history where the Jains and Buddhist places of worships have been converted in to Hindu temples as well as the Muslim places of worships have been converted into gurudwaras and the Hindu places of worships have been converted into Masjids.
The plea also cited the findings of the Srikrishna Commission set up to enquire into the causes of the riots in Mumbai in December 1992 and January 1993 and the causes of the bomb blast that occurred in March 1993. “The unequivocal finding of the Commission is that the December 1992 riots were due to the hurt feeling that the Muslims felt by the shameful act of demolition of Babri Masjid on 6 December 1992 which were followed till January 1993,” it claimed.
Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, another Muslim organisation, has also moved the apex court seeking to implead in the matter.
[Read Impleadment Application]