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Attacks on Christians: Supreme Court seeks action taken report from 7 states

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Taking cognisance of attacks against Christian priests and Christian institutions across the country, the Supreme Court has directed the States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh to file a report on steps taken by their respective law enforcement agencies within a period of three weeks.

The Bench of Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud, Justice P.S. Narasimha and Justice J.B. Pardiwala issued directions on a PIL filed by Archbishop of Bangalore Diocese Dr. Peter Machado, along with the National Solidarity Forum and the Evangelical Fellowship of India.

The top court of the country observed that the collated reports would aid it in forming opinion on the States’ compliance with the directions issued in its verdict of Tehseen Poonawalla vs Union of India. 

Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati submitted that while the State of Haryana had provided requisite details in pursuance of the order, the other States had not supplied the information.

Appearing for Uttar Pradesh, Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad submitted that the State had already furnished the information. 

The Apex Court observed that this discrepancy should be duly reconciled within a period of one week and the State of Uttar Pradesh should furnish another copy of all the information as required to be furnished in terms of the order dated September 1, 2022.

The top court of the country listed the matter for hearing on March 13. 

Earlier, the Apex Court had directed the Union Ministry of Home Affairs to obtain verification reports from the States of Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh on steps taken against such attacks. 

The Apex Court directed the eight states to provide information on registration of FIRs against the accused, the status of investigation, arrests made and charge sheets filed in such cases.

The Bench noted that the collated reports would aid it in forming opinion on States’ compliance with the directions issued in the judgment of Tehseen Poonawalla vs Union of India. 

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