Supreme Court: 'A Very Difficult Situation Will Emerge If Forced Religious Conversions Is Not Stopped'
A division bench of the Supreme Court comprising of Justices MR Shah and Hima Kohli, took serious note of the alleged incidents of religious conversion through ‘deception, allurement and force’.
The court remarked that if such proselytising is not stopped, it will pose a danger to the security of the country and their fundamental right to freedom of religion and conscience.
The bench termed the issue of religious conversion as “very serious” and asked the central government to make efforts to check the practice. It went on to state that a very difficult situation will emerge if forced religious conversions is not stopped.
The court was hearing a plea filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, Advocate, seeking to issue directions to the centre to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversions by “intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits”.
The Solicitor General (SG) Tushar Mehta stated that such conversions are rampant in tribal areas and many a time, the victims are not aware that they are subjected to a criminal offence as they are manipulated to believe that they are being helped.
To this, the bench remarked as to what the government is doing and thereafter, directed the centre to file an affidavit by 22 November detailing the steps taken by it to control forcible conversion.
The SG submitted that there are two acts one by the Odisha government and other by the Madhya Pradesh government which deals with any forcible conversions by deceit, falsehood or fraud and their validity have been upheld by the top court.
"There were two acts. One was by the Odisha government and other one by Madhya Pradesh dealing with regulation of any forcible conversion by deceit, falsehood or fraud, money. These issues came before this court for consideration and the top court upheld the validity," said the Solicitor General.
In the plea, it has been submitted that the “the injury caused to the citizens is extremely large because there is not even one district which is free of religious conversion by hook and crook”.
It was further mentioned that, “incidents are reported every week throughout the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits and also by using black magic, superstition, miracles but Centre and States have not taken stringent steps to stop this menace”.
Additionally, it was pleaded that directions be issued to the Law Commission of India for preparing a report as well as a Bill to control religious conversions by intimidation and monetary benefits.
As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.
Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.
We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.
Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.