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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a reply from the Centre on a plea seeking to open all religious places of worship across the country, which were closed amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

A plea seeking opening of the places of worship in the country has been filed by Ahmedabad-based Gitarth Ganga Trust, a religious research institute. A bench headed by Chief Justice S.A. Bobde and comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian issued notice to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The plea contended that all religious places be reopened with the prescribed safety measures. The bench noted that it is inclined to consider this possibility. The plea has been filed through advocate Surjendu Sankar Das.

On August 21, the Supreme Court had told the Maharashtra government that the apex court finds it very strange that the state is allowing activities involving economic interests, but Covid-19 is cited when it comes to opening of temples.

The apex court had allowed the Jain community temples at Dadar, Byculla and Chembur in Mumbai to remain open to worshippers on the last two days of Paryushan on August 22 and 23 to allow the devotees to worship the Jain Tirthankaras.

The Sri Parshwatilak Shwetambar Murtipujak Jain Trust had moved the apex court against the August 14 order of the Bombay High Court declining permission to allow offering of prayers during the Paryushan period.

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Indo-Asian News Service or IANS is a private Indian news agency. The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service

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