Asaduddin Owaisi reacts to Supreme Court refusing to stop Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi mosque: ‘Constrained to remind…’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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Asaduddin Owaisi reacts to Supreme Court refusing to stop Hindu prayers in Gyanvapi mosque: ‘Constrained to remind…’

Apr 01, 2024 10:15 PM IST

A bench, led by CJI DY Chandrachud, noted that both the Muslim and Hindu sides have been conducting their respective religious observances “unhindered”.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president Asaduddin Owaisi on Monday reacted to the Supreme Court's order on the Gyanvapi mosque management committee's plea against an Allahabad High Court decision upholding a lower court's order allowing Hindu prayers in the southern cellar of the mosque.

All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad. (ANI)
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad. (ANI)

The top court on Monday refused to stop the ongoing prayers by Hindu devotees within the southern cellar of the Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi even as it ordered a “status quo” on the religious observances by both Hindu and Muslim sides inside the mosque precincts.

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Owaisi said he is constrained to remind the court of its own precedent, referring to the mention of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 in the 2019 Ayodhya-Babri Masjid verdict.

Also Read | Retd judge who allowed puja in Gyanvapi cellar made university ombudsman

The Places of Worship Act 1991 states that the religious character of a place of worship existing as on 15 August 1947 shall continue to be the same as it existed on that day.

“The Places of Worship Act imposes a non-derogable obligation towards enforcing our commitment to secularism under the Indian Constitution....Non-retrogression is a foundational feature of the fundamental constitutional principles of which secularism is a core component. The Places of Worship Act is thus a legislative intervention which preserves non-retrogression as an essential feature of our secular values,” Owaisi shared from the judgment.

Supreme Court order on Gyanvapi mosque


A top court bench led by Chief Justice of India Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, noted that both the Muslim and Hindu sides have been conducting their respective religious observances “unhindered” inside the mosque premises and therefore, a status quo would serve the ends of justice for now.

“Bearing in mind the fact that namaz is being offered by the Muslim community unhindered after the orders of the district court and the high court, and that puja by the Hindu devotees is confined to the tehkahna (cellar), it would be appropriate to maintain status-quo so as to enable both the communities to offer religious worships in the above terms,” said the bench, also comprising justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra, in its order.

It pointed out that the entry to the cellar is from the southern side while the access to the mosque is from the northern side.

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