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Central government should respond to plea on curbing fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion: Supreme Court

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The Supreme Court has asked the Union ministry of Law and Home Affairs on a PIL for seeking strict steps to control on religious conversion through fraud and intimidation.

A Bench of Justices MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari have posted the matter for hearing on November 14.

The plea was filed in the court that claimed fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion which is rampant across the country.The plea filed by BJP spokesperson Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay claimed Central government has failed to control its menace.

The plea read that there is not even one district which is free of religious conversion by ‘hook and cook and the carrot and the stick.

It also said that if such conversions are not checked, Hindus would soon become a minority in India. It said that the Centre was obligated to enact a country-wide law for the same.

The plea has also sought directions to the Law Commission of India for preparing a report and a Bill to control ‘deceitful religious conversion.’

It also requests and seeks declaration from the Court that fraudulent religious conversion and conversion by intimidation, threatening and through gifts and monetary benefits offends Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Indian Constitution and should be dealt.

Last month Petitioner Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay submitted that this court can’t be a mute spectator if the political executive is not taking steps due to appeasement and vote bank politics,” it said.

The plea also adds that due to the inaction by the Centre and State many mosques and churches have become the epicentre of black magic, superstition and religious hypocrisy and the ultimate purpose is to convert economically weaker scheduled castes and scheduled tribes.

The affidavit also adds that many maulvis and pastors are converting poor people by intimidating, threatening, deceiving and luring through gifts and monetary benefits.

An RTI was earlier filed by Upadhyay requesting the Home Ministry to provide information relating to religious conversion in Delhi but no reply has come so far.

Upadhyay said that the police of Delhi is aware of the religious conversion

but generally Delhi Police chose to look the other way.

The High court had earlier said if the government was conscious of the issue of forced religious conversion, it can frame a law and that the court cannot give such a direction to the legislature.

The petition has stated that religious conversion by “the carrot and the stick” and “by hook or crook” not only offends Articles 14, 15, 21, and 25 but is also against the principles of secularism, which is basic structure of the Constitution.

The petition by Ashwin Upadhyay mentions that the Centre and the Delhi government have failed to control the deceitful religious conversion though it’s their duty under Article 51A.

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