The Places of Worship Act, 1991: The ongoing controversy over the Gyanwapi Mosque adjacent to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, has brought back the controversy over the Places of Worship (Special Arrangements) Act, 1991. In 1991, a group of priests in Varanasi filed a petition in court seeking permission to worship at the Gyan Vapi complex. The Allahabad High Court had in 2019 ordered a stay on the ASI survey at the request of the petitioners. Let’s understand what this act is and what its provisions are.
That is why it is under discussion these days.
Last month, a Varanasi court ordered a videography survey of the Gyanwapi mosque complex after five Hindu women applied for worship behind the west wall of the complex. The survey report was initially ordered to be submitted by May 10. However, the order was delayed after it was challenged by the Uttar Pradesh Sunni Central Waqf Board and the mosque committee. The current controversy erupted when five Hindu women demanded regular worship of Shringar Gauri and other idols inside the Gyanwapi mosque premises. The Supreme Court will hear a petition on Tuesday, May 17, challenging the videography and survey of the management committee of the Muslim Jamaat-e-Intifada Masjid.
During the survey of Gyanwapi Mosque, ‘Shivaling’ was found
The survey of Gyanwapi Mosque was completed on May 16. The Hindu side in the case has claimed that during the survey, a ‘shawling’ was found inside a pool in the premises of the mosque. However, the Muslim side rejected the claim, saying it was just a spring. The report of the three-day survey of Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanwapi Mosque premises will be presented in the Varanasi Civil Court on Tuesday. The petition of the Muslim side in the Supreme Court has been asked to stay the proceedings and order not to make the survey and its report public. The mosque committee’s petition argued that the new lawsuits filed in 2021, citing the “right to worship”, were “restrained by the Places of Worship Act, 1991” and reinstated the controversy over the law. Was attempted.
Places of Worship Act, 1991
The Place of Worship Act, 1991, was introduced to maintain the status quo in religious places and to prevent sectarian tensions arising over the occupation or rights of any such place. The Places of Worship Act, 1991 seeks to prohibit the conversion of places of worship and to maintain the religious character of India’s independence on 15 August 1947. Section 4 (1) of the Act states: “The religious character of the place of worship existing on 15 August 1947 shall remain the same as it was on that day. This Act shall come into force on 11 August. July, 1991. Section 4 of the Act. (2) states that a lawsuit, appeal or other action is pending before any court, tribunal or other authority regarding the change of religious features of any place of worship up to 15th August 1947. The position is that no new action will be taken on such matters. Section 3 of the Act prohibits conversion in any way, even to a particular class of religion. ” No one will convert.