Forceful Conversion: Supreme Court to Hear Petition on Monday

SC

The Supreme court on Monday will hear a PIL by BJP leader and Advocates Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking a direction to the Centre and states to take measures to check forcible and fraudulent religious conversion by threat and inducements.

On December 9, the Former member of the Planning Commission Dr. Syeda Hameed filed an application in Supreme Court Seeking Intervention in the ‘Forceful Conversion’ Case pending before the Court.

On December 3, The Gujarat Government filed and an affidavit in the supreme court supporting the demand for a strict law on forceful religious conversions in the country.

Home Department of Government of Gujarat in its affidavit said that the right to freedom of religion does not include a fundamental right to convert other people to a particular religion.“The said right (to freedom of religion) certainly does not have the right to convert an individual through fraud, deception, coercion, allurement, or other such means, it added

The meaning and purport of the word ‘propagate’ falling under Article 25 of the Constitution was discussed and debated in great detail in the constituent assembly and the inclusion of the said word was passed by the constituent assembly only after the clarification that the fundamental right under Article 25 would not include the right to convert, Home Department, Government of Gujarat said

During the last hearing, the bench of the Supreme Court, comprising Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar directed the Centre to file a detailed affidavit on the issue after discovering information from states. Maintaining that there cannot be any forced conversion, it observed, “You file a detailed affidavit after obtaining the necessary information from the concerned States”.

The petitioner also sought an investigation of foreign-funded NGOs alleging their role in forced religious conversion. States like Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, and Haryana have legislation in place on forced conversion as law and order is a state subject.

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About the Author: Ashish Sinha

-Ashish Kumar Sinha -Editor Legally Speaking -Ram Nath Goenka awardee - 14 Years of Experience in Media - Covering Courts Since 2008