The Supreme Court said on Monday it will examine whether a high court, in exercising its powers under Article 226 of the constitution, can direct a state government to compensate for damages caused to religious places during riots or natural calamities.
An apex court bench headed by justice KS Radhakrishnan said that it will also look into Article 27 and whether under this the tax payers' money could be used for the repair or restoration of religious places damaged during riots or natural calamities.
The court's observation came after Gujarat's Additional Advocate General Tushar Mehta contended that public money could not be released for the restoration or repair of a damaged religious structure.
At this the court inquired whether religious places damaged during earthquakes or a tsunami were compensated for their restoration. Mehta told the court that Gujarat government did not pay for the repair and restoration of religious places damaged during the 2001 Bhuj earthquake.
The court was hearing a petition by the Gujarat government challenging a state high court order directing it to compensate for damages caused to religious structures during the 2002 Gujarat riots.