Can religious events be held on government land? SC to decide

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New Delhi, July 6 (IANS) Can religious activities be allowed on government land in secular India? The Supreme Court on Friday referred this question to a larger bench to decide.

A bench of Justice R.F. Nariman and Justice Indu Malhotra raised the query while hearing a plea filed by Jyoti Jagran Mandal, an organisation, challenging the refusal by the civic body and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to allow a “Jagran” and a “mata ki chowki” at a public park in southwest Delhi.

The bench referred the matter to the Chief Justice of India for constituting a constitution bench, saying it is an important issue in a secular nation like India.

In May this year, NGT had rejected the organisation’s plea seeking permission to conduct a “mata ki chowki” in a public park, saying that the place needs to be preserved as a “lung space”.

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The green panel had further noted that the public place is meant for the benefit of the residents of the area.

The civic body had told the NGT that it has taken a policy decision not to give public parks for weddings or other day-to-day functions.



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