No Construction of Place of Worship in Public Areas, SC to Centre

The Supreme Court has instructed the central government to see to it that places of worship are not built in public places.

Besides, Solicitor General Gopal Subramanium has to file an affidavit in this connection within four weeks as per the directives of the apex court.

“The Solicitor General will file an affidavit to ensure that no temple, church, mosque or gurudwara is constructed on a public street or a public space,” a Bench comprising Justices Dalveer Bhandari and M K Sharma said.

The instruction has come in the wake of the hearing of a plea challenging the Gujarat High Court order of 2006 2006 by which the authorities in Ahmedabad were directed to demolish all illegal structures including places of worship on public roads.

The High Court order was later stayed by the apex court.

During the hearing, the Bench said as far as existing religious institutions are concerned it can understand that demolishing them will create law and order problem but the Centre must ensure that no religious structures comes up in future in public places.

The Bench said even if a single
institution is put up on public place, the officers concerned would be suitably punished.

Subramanium said that the Centre will have discussions with all states and try to reach a consensus on this issue.

The Bench posted the matter for further hearing on September 29.

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