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Gujarat Govt Will Not Have to Pay to Rebuild Shrines Destroyed in the 2002 Post-Godhra Riots.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has dismissed the review petition filed by the Islamic Relief Committee, Gujarat (IRCG), noting there was no merit in the plea, citing Article 27 in the Indian Constitution which prohibits spending of public money for religious purposes or promotion of any religion.

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Updated:March 13, 2018, 9:27 AM IST
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Gujarat Govt Will Not Have to Pay to Rebuild Shrines Destroyed in the 2002 Post-Godhra Riots.
File Photo of the Supreme Court of India.
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has refused to reconsider its decision, which had set aside the Gujarat High Court order for paying from tax payers' money to rebuild destroyed shrines during the communal riots.

A bench headed by Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra has dismissed the review petition filed by the Islamic Relief Committee, Gujarat (IRCG), noting there was no merit in the plea.

The bench upheld the previous judgment and found no error apparent on the face of the record, requiring the top court to reconsider its view.

With the dismissal, the apex court had stood firm on its view that tax payers' money cannot be used to build or rebuild any religious structure in the wake of the
constitutional bar against it under Article 27.

Article 27 in Constitution prohibits spending of public money for religious purposes or promotion of any religion.

The object of Article 27 is to maintain secularism, the SC had noted in its August 2017 judgment when it had set aside the HC order.

The Court had then allowed the appeal filed by the BJP-led Gujarat government against the High Court order directing it to pay compensation to over 500 shrines damaged during the 2002 riots that followed the Godhra train burning incident.

Additional Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, who appeared for the state government, had then pointed out that the state already has a scheme under which an ex gratia fixed payment is given to the damage caused to the houses and religious structures could come under this ambit.

The bench then approved the state government's scheme for paying upto a maximum Rs. 50,000 as ex-gratia assistance to authorised religious places damaged, destroyed or desecrated.

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| Edited by: Ahona Sengupta
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