The Madhya Pradesh high court has set aside a lower court order and allowed construction of a mosque on a private plot in Khargone district, saying every person in a democracy has the right to "practice any religion".
In his order, justice SC Sharma of the Indore bench described the lower court’s order as "perverse and contrary to the law as in a democratic country every citizen has the right to offer prayers."
The court made its observation on March 18 but a copy of order was made available on Wednesday.
The court’s order comes in the backdrop of growing sectarian violence across the country, forcing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to call for religious tolerance. The issue of forced conversions raised by Hindu right wing groups has also dominated the headlines in recent times.
In his order, justice Sharma also said that in a democratic setup, every citizen has the "right to profess, practice and propagate any religion" and asked the trial court to decide the case on merits taking into consideration the peculiar facts and circumstances of the case.
Members of the Hindu community had opposed construction of a temporary structure on a private plot of land for offering namaz.
Hindus had opposed the move, claiming that the structure cannot be constructed on private land which was upheld by a lower court earlier.
The petitioner, who is the title holder of the property, is entitled to use the same without interfering with the rights of others, the judge said.