New Delhi: A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has been moved in Delhi High Court against making payments of salaries to Imams, Maulvis and others of masjid across Delhi.
The AAP-led Arvind Kejriwal Government in gross violation of Articles 14 and 27 of the Constitution of India has been making payments to the tune of crores to Delhi Waqf Board for payment of salaries to Imams, Maulvis and others of masjid across Delhi, the plea alleged.
On the other hand, the pujari of temples across Delhi are not paid any remuneration. The Non-payment of salary to pujari’s/ priests of temples violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India, stated the plea.
The plea further stated that the Constitution of India mandates the functioning of the Government at the Central level or state level to remain secular in their thoughts and actions. The implicit feature regarding secularism inherent in the Constitution became explicit with the insertion of the word “secular” in the Preamble by the 42nd Constitutional Amendment, 1976.
Further Article 27 of the Constitution of India mandates that “No person shall be compelled to pay taxes, the proceeds of which are specifically appropriated in payment of expenses for the promotion or maintenance of any particular religion or religious denomination”.
The specific provision, in other words, prohibits the expenditure of public funds on the lines of religion, added the plea.
However, the aforesaid concept of secularism is being violated by the Government of NCT of Delhi.
The petitioner Gargi Khanna and Prerna Singh through a plea seeking direction to the government of NCT of Delhi to either pay monthly remuneration to pujari’s of temples of Delhi or in alternate direct the Government of NCT of Delhi to stop making payments from Government funds to Waqf Board.