Challenge to validity of Waqf Act

The High Court of Karnataka on Monday sought a response from the State and Central governments on a PIL petition questioning the constitutional validity of the Waqf Act, 1995.

Petitioner K.S. Subramanyan, an educationist from Bengaluru, has contended that provisions of the Act are contrary to the basic structure of the Constitution of India.

A division bench comprising Justice Aravind Kumar and Justice Pradeep Singh Yeruru adjourned further hearing while keeping open the issue of maintainability of the petition.

Petitioner has pointed out that the ‘constitutional philosophy is that no single religion should be given preferential status. Religious neutrality, impartiality or forbearance shall be practiced to preserve constitutionalism, its propriety and morality’, the petitioner has contended and added that the ‘Waqf Act is liable to be declared as unconstitutional as being destructive of the basic structure of the Constitution’.

Referring to Part III of the Constitution, the petitioner contended that the Waqf Act has been been enacted by twisting the Constitution to accommodate a religion. It has been contended in the petition that enactment of the Waqf Act is contrary to Article 13(2) of the Constitution, which states that the State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred under fundamental rights and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void.

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