Swamy asks PM to amend Places of Worship Act

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy. DH photo

Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking an amendment to the Places of Worship Act, 1991 which provides for maintaining the "religious character" of holy structures as it existed on August 15, 1947.

The law also prohibits the conversion of any temple into a mosque and vice versa.

Swamy urged the Prime Minister to give directions to the Ministry of Law to make amendments to the Act, specifically section 4 of the Act, which he claimed is "offensive and ultra vires of my fundamental rights" to freedom of worship.

"This act was enacted by the Congress Government headed by Mr Narasimha Rao," Swamy said in his letter.

"Fundamental Rights cannot be amended or modified by the Parliament or by any law passed by the Parliament. It cannot have the overriding effect of extinguishing my fundamental right of freedom of worship under Articles 25 and 26 of the constitution. Hence, the Ministry of Law should bring an amendment to this Act," he said in the letter.

This proposed amendment by Swamy assumes significance in the case of Kashi and Mathura where two disputed mosques stand.

Swamy had last week sought nationalisation of the land at the disputed sites of Gyaanvapi mosque in Kashi and Krishna Janmastaan in Mathura.

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