Swami Jitendranand Saraswati has moved the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the constitutional validity of the Places of Worship Act 1991 – which has now taken centerstage in the wake of temple disputes in Varanasi and Mathura. The law prohibits conversion of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th August 1947. He said the law barefacedly violates the principles of secularism and rule of law.
In his plea, Saraswati said the Places of Worship Act 1991 is void and unconstitutional for many reasons. He said the act offends rights of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs to pray profess practice and prorogate religion (Article 25) and infringes on their rights to manage maintain and administer the places of worship and pilgrimage (Article 26).
“(The act) deprives Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs from owning/acquiring religious properties belonging to deity (misappropriated by other communities)…takes away right of judicial remedy of Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs to take back their places of worship and pilgrimage and the property which belong to deity,” the plea said.