What is Article 1991- Places of Worship Act?

What is Article 1991 also known as the Places of Worship Act on the basis of which Muslim committee seeking help from SC on the Gyanvapi Masjid case? This has become a hot topic of debate in India ever since the Varanasi court ordered a survey inside the complex which revealed a shivling inside the wuzu area of the complex.

So, was there really a temple at the place of Gyanvapi Mosque? The final decision on the entire matter is yet to come till then let’s understand this special act and provision mentioned in the constitution. Also, know why was article 1991 made.

What is Article 1991?

places of worship act 1991
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As per the act, worship places of a particular religion in India before 15th August 1947 i.e. country’s independence cannot be changed in other religious worship places.

Also Read: 6 Facts And Controversies About Rahul Gandhi

Important Sections in Places of Worship Act

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Section 2-

If on the commencement of this Act, any suit, appeal, or another proceeding with respect to the conversion of the religious character of any place of worship, existing on the 15th day of August 1947, is pending before any court, tribunal, or other authority, the same shall abate, and no suit, appeal or another proceeding with respect to any such matter shall lie on or after such commencement in any court, tribunal or other authority

Section 3-  

No person shall convert any place of worship of any religious denomination or any section thereof into a place of worship of a different section of the same religious denomination or of a different religious denomination or any section thereof.

Section 5-

Nothing contained in this Act shall apply to the place or place of worship commonly known as Ram Janma Bhumi-Babri Masjid situated in Ayodhya in the State of Uttar Pradesh and to any suit, appeal, or other proceeding relating to the said place or place of worship.

Section 6-

Whoever contravenes the provisions of section 3 shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years and shall also be liable to fine

To understand why this act was made you must go back in past.

A Brief History Behind Places of Worship Act 1991

what is article 1991
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It was P V Narasimha Rao’s government back in 1991 and the country was facing communal riots all over. Gujarat, Karnataka, UP, and Andhra were badly hit by the riots due to the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.

The movement began in 1983 to construct a Ram Mandir at the birthplace of Lord Rama in Ayodhya. It was not a weak movement and affected all temples and mosques in India then.

Seeking this, the then Prime Minister introduced a bill to prevent further controversies surrounding religious places. The bill was passed in the parliament and became the Places of Worship Act 1991.

Jammu and Kashmir are exempted from this act.

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