AIMPLB OPPOSES CHALLENGES TO PLACES OF WORSHIP ACT
The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has moved the Supreme Court of India, opposing challenges to the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, in a press statement on July 14, said, “The Board has sought impleadment in two Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991.” The Board’s Applications maintain that the Petitions relate to unsettling a law about which the Supreme Court has already stated that the said law is “the commitment of India to the equality of all religions” and further stated that the Act “is an affirmation of the solemn duty which was cast upon the State to preserve and protect the equality of all faiths as an essential constitutional value, a norm which has the status of being a basic feature of the Constitution”. The Applications point out that considering the nature of legislation under the 1991 Act and the affirmation of the Act by the Supreme Court as being a reflection of the basic features of the Constitution, granting indulgence to Petitions such as the present ones, will only create problems on the ground rather than resolving the claims of the alleged violation of fundamental rights of the litigants who have their political agenda on priority.
‘DON’T GO BY TWEETS, GO BY CRPC’: DELHI COURT TO APP
A Delhi court, while hearing the bail application of Alt News co-founder Mohammad Zubair on July 14, asked the Delhi Police why it did not record the statement of the person behind the anonymous Twitter account and asked police to follow the criminal procedure and not go by tweets. Additional Sessions Judge Devender Kumar Jangala of Patiala House Courts asked Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Atul Shrivastava if police recorded the statement of the person behind the Twitter account, who replied that the police had details of the Twitter account but has not yet recorded the statement. The judge said, “You haven’t recorded the statement yet? How many victims’ statements have you recorded? You must have recorded statement of persons who felt offended. How many statements you recorded till date? We cannot go by a tweet, you have to go by CrPC. You are a prosecuting agency.”
After the hearing, Zubair moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash the six FIRs lodged against him by the Uttar Pradesh police – two in Hathras and one each in Lakhimpur Kheri, Sitapur, Muzaffarnagar, and Ghaziabad. He also challenged the formulation of the SIT.
Observing that “the voice of dissent is necessary for healthy democracy” and that political parties are open for criticism, the Delhi court on July 15 granted bail to Mohammad Zubair, who was arrested for allegedly hurting religious sentiments and promoting enmity through his tweet made in 2018. But an Uttar Pradesh court on July 16 denied bail to Mohammed Zubair in a case registered against him for fact-checking a report broadcast by Hindi television channel.