In a significant verdict, Kerala High Court today held that madrassas are not places of worship but places of education and that polling stations can be established there.
“I have no doubt in my mind that a madrassa is not a place of worship and a polling booth can well be set up,” Justice V Chitambaresh ruled.
He was dismissing a petition challenging the decision to set up polling stations in two madrassas in Kasargod District for the civic polls in the state slated for next month.
Referring to clauses in a handbook issued by the State Election Commission for conduct of election to the local bodies, the court said no police station, hospital or place of religious worship shall function as a polling station.
“A madrassa is neither a place of religious worship nor does it have religious significance. Madrassa only means a building which houses a school. I do not think that any of the instructions issued by the State Election Commission has been flouted in the instant case,” the Judge said.
In his writ petition, one Kasim from Kasargod had sought shifting or relocation of the polling booths located in Madrassas in Chengala Grama Panchayat in Kasargod for the local body elections scheduled next month.