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Places Of Worship Act, 1991 : Important Points

Places Of Worship Act, 1991:

Experts have pointed out that the Places of Worship Act, 1991, prohibited inquiry into religious places such as Kashi and Mathura.

  • This comes after a Varanasi court recently ordered an ASI inquiry at the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque premises.
  • Experts have also questioned if a civil court judge was competent to give such a direction against a law upheld by a Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court.

About the Places of Worship Act, 1991:

  • The Act declares that the religious character of a place of worship shall continue to be the same as it was on August 15, 1947.
  • It says no person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination into one of a different denomination or section.
  • It declares that all suits, appeals or any other proceedings regarding converting the character of a place of worship, which are pending before any court or authority on August 15, 1947, will abate as soon as the law comes into force.
  • No further legal proceedings can be instituted.

Objectives of the Act:

  • To freeze the status of any place of worship as it existed on August 15, 1947.
  • To provide for the maintenance of the religious character of such a place of worship as on that day.
  • To pre-empt new claims by any group about the past status of any place of worship and attempts to reclaim the structures or the land on which they stood.