AYODHYA VERDICT: SUPREME COURT NOT TO ENTERTAIN CLAIMS AGAINST ACTIONS OF MUGHALS
Context: The Supreme Court in the Ayodhya verdict said it cannot entertain claims about the actions of Mughal emperors against Hindu places of worship. SC also stressed upon Non-Retrogression to Bar More Disputes
The judgment also encompassed a message against attempts to alter the religious nature of a place of worship and about “non-retrogression” as it noted that “historical wrongs cannot be remedied by the people taking the law in their own hands.
- The apex court has underscored the ambit of the Places of Worship Act, 1991, and also set aside the Allahabad High Court’s view that all kinds of religious disputes could be raised in a court of law.
- The court further added that for any person who seeks solace or recourse against the actions of any number of ancient rulers, the law is not the answer.
- Our history is replete with actions that have been judged to be morally incorrect and even today are liable to trigger vociferous ideological debate.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STATEMENT
- With this, the apex court shuts its door against future claims of alleged atrocities committed by ancient rulers against Hindu places of worship.
- The court said differences on the basis of religion, skin color and ancestors died with the adoption of the Constitution.
- The judgment said, the adoption of the Constitution marks a watershed moment where we, the people of India, departed from the determination of rights and liabilities on the basis of our ideology, our religion, the color of our skin, or the century when our ancestors arrived at these lands, and submitted to the rule of law.
- The Supreme Court repeatedly invoked the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act 1991, which seeks to maintain the “religious character” of holy structures as it was at Independence.
THE PLACES OF WORSHIP (SPECIAL PROVISIONS) ACT, 1991
- The central thrust of the law is that the nature of a place of worship – church, mosque, temple, etc will continue to be as it was on 15 August 1947.
- The Act prohibits conversion of any place of worship and to provide for the maintenance of the religious character of any place of worship as it existed on the 15th day of August, 1947, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.