Plea in SC raises Kashi-Mathura issue, challenges 1991 law

A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of a 1991 law which created arbitrary and irrational retrospective cut-off date of August 15, 1947. It contends that as per the 90s law no suit or proceeding shall lie in court in respect of disputes against encroachment done by fundamentalist, barbaric invaders and lawbreakers.

The plea filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay argued that Centre has barred the remedies against illegal encroachment on the places of worship and pilgrimages and now Hindus Jains Buddhists Sikhs cannot file suit or approach High Court under Article 226.

The plea argues that Hindus are fighting for the restoration of birthplace of Lord Krishna for hundreds of years and peaceful public agitation continues but while enacting the Act, Centre has excluded the birthplace of Lord Ram at Ayodhya but not the birthplace of Lord Krishna in Mathura, though both are the incarnations of Lord Vishnu, the creator.


"Therefore, they won't be able to restore their places of worship and pilgrimage, including temples-endowments in the spirit of Articles 25-26 and the illegal barbarian act of invaders will continue in perpetuity," contended the plea.

In June, Lucknow-based Vishwa Bhadra Pujari Purohit Mahasangh filed a plea in the top court challenging the validity of the provisions of the 1991 Act.


The move has gained significance, as there have been demands to begin litigation on Kashi-Mathura, connected to temples of Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna in Uttar Pradesh. A suit in Mathura court has been already admitted.

Upadhyay argued that Centre neither can close the doors of courts of the first instance, appellate courts, constitutional courts for aggrieved Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs.


The plea contended Section 2,3,4 (of the law) not only offend right to pray practice to prorogate religion (Article 25), right to manage to maintain administer places of worship-pilgrimage (Article 26), right to conserve culture (Article 29) but also contrary to state's duty to protect historic places (Article 49) and preserve religious cultural heritage (Article 51A).

The plea cited that apex court has already decided the Ayodhya dispute last year in November and found substance in the claim of Hindus and now a new temple is going to be constructed after more than 500 years of demolition by the barbaric invaders.


"If Ayodhya case wouldn't have been decided, Hindus would have been denied justice. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs are continuously paying homage to the places of worship and pilgrimage through physical possession has been taken by a member of other faith.

"So, restriction to move Court is arbitrary irrational and against the principle of rule of law, which is the core of Article 14," added the plea.


The plea sought an apex court direction to the Centre to declare that Section 2 of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991 is void and unconstitutional for being violative of various Articles of the Constitution.