News Brief

Right To Freedom Of Religion Cannot Be Construed As Right To Convert Others: Allahabad High Court

Kuldeep Negi

Jul 11, 2024, 10:46 AM | Updated 10:46 AM IST

Allahabad High Court
Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday (9 July) denied bail to an accused in a case of alleged illegal conversion, observing that the right to freedom of conscience and religion cannot be construed as the right to convert others.

Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal noted that the Constitution permits citizens to profess, practice, and propagate their religion but does not sanction conversion.

"The Constitution confers on each individual the fundamental right to profess, practice and propagate his religion. However, the individual right to freedom of conscience and religion cannot be extended to construe a collective right to proselytize; the right to religious freedom belongs equally to the person converting and the individual sought to be converted," the Court said, Bar and Bench reported.

"The Constitution clearly envisages and permits its citizens right to freedom of religion in respect to their professing, practising and propagating its religion. It does not allow or permit any citizen to convert any citizen from one religion to another religion," the Court remarked.

Similar observations were made by the Court in an order passed on 2 July.

"If this process is allowed to be carried out, the majority population of this country would be in minority one day, and such religious congregation should be immediately stopped where the conversion is taking place and changing religion of citizen of India," the Court had said in respect of conversions.

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Kuldeep is Senior Editor (Newsroom) at Swarajya. He tweets at @kaydnegi.

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