Notice Issued by Supreme court to centre in a petition seeking opening of all religious places:
Today, the Supreme court issues notice to the centre for a petition seeking permission to open all religious places in India that have remained closed or have had restricted access due to the COVID-19.
The bench consisting of Chief Justice SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna & V. Ramasubramaniun is seeking a response from the Centre and issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs on the petition filed by Ahmedabad-based “Gitarth Ganga Trust’ seeking opening of the places of worship in the country.
The petitioner states that the petition has been filed with the solemn and pious objective to protect the fundamental rights enshrined under the Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and (b), 25, 26, and 21, in particular, of the residents of India pertaining to the opening of the places of worship/religious places throughout India which have been prohibited/restricted at present by many of the states.
The petitioner claims that all religious institutions including Temples, Mosques, Gurudwaras, and Churches in the country is remained close or have had limited access to the public in terms of the stipulated guidelines as under the Disaster Management Act, 2005.
Further petitioners state that the pandemic and the effect the lockdown on the mental health of the citizens is adverse. At a time like this, much of the mental distress faced by the citizens can be resolved if religious places are opened up for access to devotees who can seek their spiritual peace.
Petitioner states that in permitting businesses and commercial activities and prohibiting religious practices the States have weighed the risk of a COVID-19 outbreak with the ‘reward” of the value of the business.
In reference petitioner also states that Chief Justice SA Bobde was seeking a petition to allow the opening of Jain Temples in parts of Maharashtra that States were willing to take risks in economic activities but restrictions were being placed on religious institutions.