Thursday, February 22, 2024

Religious Conversion: Supreme Court asks counsel of petitioner to look into allegations against minority religions

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The Supreme Court today orally asked the Senior Advocate Arvind Datar who appeared for the petitioner in the plea against religious conversion, to examine the comments which were  made against the certain minority religions in the plea.

A bench comprising of Justice MR Shah and Justice S Ravindra Bhat have asked the Datar to take note of such comments. 

Justice Bhat said the comments in the plea should be seen which have been questioned.

 Senior Counsel Dushyant Dave, who had come to represent certain minority religious bodies, told the court  about the scurrilous allegations against certain religions in the plea that was filed by BJP leader and advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.

The senior advocate Dave informed the court that the allegations that certain religions are perpetuating rape etc cannot be made. 

Advocate Dushyant Dave said that allegation of this sort  send a terrible signal to the minority community.

The advocate has thus requested the Court to allow his client to be impleaded as a party to the case. 

As the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta was not present in the court,the matter has been  to January 9, 2023.

The plea in question seeks some strict actions to be taken to tackle with the issue of religious conversion.

 The public interest litigation (PIL)stated that a deceitful and fraudulent religious conversion is rampant across the country, which the Central Government has failed to control and this is causing a big threat.

The matter was last heard on December 5 where the apex court had taken a dim view of religious conversion in the guise of charity, stating that the intention of persons offering such charity will have to be examined in such cases. 

The Court had said that everyone who lives has to act as per its culture and Constitution.

 The Central government in its affidavit has taken the stance that fundamental right to practice and propagate any religion under the Constitution  does not allow the conversion of people under the fundamental rights.

The affidavit clarified that the word ‘propagate’ used in Article 25 of the Constitution does not include within its ambit the right to convert.

It further added that  and the decision in Reverend Stainislaus makes clear that forced conversions impinge on a citizen’s right to freedom of conscience, the Central government’s affidavit said.

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