The Supreme Court issued notice in a plea seeking permission to open all religious places PAN India that have remained closed or have had restricted access due to the ongoing pandemic.
A bench comprising of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramanium sought response from the Centre and issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the plea of Ahmadabad based “Gitarth Ganga Trust” seeking opening of the places of worship in the country.
The plea states that it has been filed with the “solemn and pious objective to protect the fundamental rights enshrined and guaranteed under the Articles 14, 19(1) (a) and (b), 25, 26 and 21, in particular of the residents of India pertaining to opening of the places of worship/ religious places throughout India which have been prohibited/ restricted at present by many of the states”.
The petition pertains to all religious institutions including Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras and Churches in the country, the plea states that the most institutions have remain closed or have had limited access to the public in terms of the stipulated guidelines as under Disaster Management Act, 2005.
In light of this, the plea states that despite relaxations, many of the State governments have not passed orders allowing opening up of these institutions.
Recently Chief Justice SA Bobde had remarked while hearing a plea seeking permission to allow the opening of Jain Temples in parts of Maharashtra that States were willing to take a risk in economic activities but restrictions were being placed on religious institutions.