Thursday, December 17

No religious structures on public land

This was very long overdue and something that every secular Liberal Democracy has to take on board. Keep religion firmly in the private area. You want to worship your god, your pasta, your goddesses or your wood, then you do it in your own time, in your place. I quote:

Stating that state government cannot let “personal faith” eat up public space for fear of provoking religious sentiments, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday that no new constructions of “temples, mosques, churches and gurdwaras will be allowed on public parks, public streets and public spaces.”
“The court is going to be very strict on this ban, even if it gives rise to a law and order problem. We are making it abundantly clear that any fresh construction is banned,” ruled the Bench led by Justices Dalveer Bhandari and A K Patnaik.
“Non-compliance with the order, whatever be the problem within a state, you (state government concerned) will be in great difficulty,” the Bench cautioned a battery of standing counsel representing various state governments.
The Bench also passed a sweeping order that no courts in the country will entertain any complaints against the apex court’s ban, thus closing all avenues for protests by religious groups or private individuals. “Regarding the gravity of the matter, we direct that no order which is inconsistent with our order of ban be passed,” the court ruled.
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“Chief Secretaries must ensure total compliance of our orders, any breach will be viewed seriously by this court,” warned the Bench. The fate of the existing unauthorised structures will be decided on a “case to case basis” by the state governments.
Today’s order follows an earlier ruling passed on September 29, when the apex court had banned construction of unauthorised religious places of worships on public land. The Bench passed the order after finding that the states had hardly taken any action to implement the ban.
The Bench has asked Chief Secretaries to either file affidavits within six weeks swearing that the ban has been implemented in every district of their state, or be present in court with an explanation.

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