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SC issues notice in plea seeking opening of religious places across India

Supreme Court (Mint)Premium
Supreme Court (Mint)

  • The petitioner submits that the plea requests for the opening of all religious places including temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches across country
  • The plea clarified that the prayer was not for religious congregations but is limited for the rights of the devotees to visit the place of their worship

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notice in plea seeking permission for opening of all religious places across the country which were closed or had restricted access due to the covid-19 pandemic.

The apex court bench headed by Justice SA Bobde while issuing notice to the Ministry of home affairs also sought its response. The orders were passed in a public interest litigation(PIL) filed by by Gitarth Ganga Trust, a public trust based in Gujarat.

The bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian said, “ We are issuing notice to just explore this possibility."

The petitioner submits that the plea requests for the opening of all religious places including temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches across country. It submitted that as per the provisions of the Disaster Management Act the religious places had remained closed and those opened have limited access for public. It added that certain States have not allowed any religious places to be opened at all, despite relaxation in other rules.

The plea contended that in view of the ongoing pandemic and the effect of lockdown the mental health of citizen is adverse. In times like these if the religious places are allowed to be opened it would help people to distress and they can seek their spiritual peace.

The plea clarified that the prayer was not for religious congregations but is limited for the rights of the devotees to visit the place of their worship with relevant guidelines.

The petition filed through advocate Surjendu Sankar Das argued "In permitting businesses and commercial activities and prohibiting religious practices the States have weighed the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak with the 'reward" of the value of the business."

The plea argued that it is discriminatory against religious institutes which are not allowed to be open while other business have been allowed to function and economic activities have begun

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