Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Religious Conversion: Ashwini Upadhyay notifies Supreme Court about withdrawing additional affidavit

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The BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay has notified the Supreme Court that he would like to withdraw the additional affidavit that he has filed in the religious conversion case, which had objectionable remarks against minority religions.

Arvind Datar , who spoke on behalf of Upadhyay, informed the bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha that there were some objections to some portions. We are withdrawing that additional affidavit.

Advocate Dushyant Dave who had come to represent the minority organisation said that there are ‘vexatious and baseless’ allegations in Upadhyay’s main petition as well. 

Dave informed the Court that Upadhyay had earlier filed similar petitions in the Delhi High Court and the Supreme Court before as well.

The Court then said that it will hear in detail when the matter is heard and proceeded to adjourn the case.

The top court was hearing petitions, which pertained to religious conversions, and some others which challenged the stringent anti-conversion laws in States. 

Organisations like Citizens for Justice and Peace and the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind have challenged the laws against religious conversions in different States.

The plea filed by Ashwini Upadhyay had asked for stringent steps to be taken to tackle the forceful religious conversions. The public interest litigation (PIL) fild by the advocate had talked about the rampant fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion which the Central government has failed to control its menace.

During the hearing today, the CJI DY Chandrachud gave three weeks’ time to the respondent-States to file their counter-affidavits in the matter. 

The bench remarked that it was not inclined to pass any directions on Upadhyay’s prayer to order the Law Commission for preparing a report on deceitful religious conversions and a law to tackle the same. 

The bench asked as to why should we direct the Law Commission.

The matter is likely to be heard again next week.

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