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ICC Note:

The Delhi High Court ordered the government to give it a status report on the protection of churches and other places of worship. A suit was filed earlier this year after a series of attacks on churches in Delhi led to Christians demonstrating in the streets of India’s capital. Attacks on churches have continued since this suit has been filed and many Christians in India feel that the government is doing little to help secure their rights in India. 

4/29/2015 India (Hindustan Times) – The Delhi High Court on Wednesday sought a status report from the central and Delhi governments on the steps they have taken to protect all religious places in the national capital.

A division bench of Chief Justice G Rohini and Justice RS Endlaw issued the notice to the union home ministry, Delhi government, city police commissioner and asked them to file the status report. The bench was hearing a PIL seeking protection of all religious places here, including churches.

“Issue notice to union home ministry, Delhi government and Delhi police commissioner. They have to file status report with regard to instances of attacks on religious places, and steps taken by them,” the bench said, posting the matter for July 1.

After some attacks on churches, the public interest litigation (PIL) filed in the court sought protection of religious rights of Christians and security of churches only, but now it amended the plea seeking protection of all religious places.

During the hearing, appearing for the home ministry, advocate Anil Soni said that FIRs have been registered on the attacks of churches and a SIT has been constituted.

Last week, a different bench hearing the plea observed that there “should not be any attack on any kind of religious places” in the country.

The central government said the PIL was “communal” in nature as it was limited to churches only, whereas “all places of worship should be protected irrespective of religion.”

The court had expressed its displeasure over the attacks and observed that irrespective of religion “all places of worship need to be protected.”

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