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    'Very Serious Issue, Against India's Constitution': Supreme Court On Forced Religious Conversions

    Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the apex court that they are collecting information from states on religious conversion through such bad practices and sought a week's time time to provide detailed information on the issue

    By Aashish Vashistha
    Tue, 06 Dec 2022 10:29 AM (IST)
    very-serious-issue-against-indias-constitution-supreme-court-on-forced-religious-conversions

    THE SUPREME Court on Monday said that forced religious conversion is a serious issue and against the Constitution of India asserting that the purpose of charity should not be conversion. The top court further granted a week's time to the Centre to file a detailed report on the issue. The top court will now hear the matter on December 12.

    While hearing a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, a Supreme Court bench of Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar said, "The purpose of charity should not be conversion. Allurement is dangerous." The plea sought direction to the Centre to take strict steps to curb fraudulent religious conversion by "threatening, intimidation, and deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits."

    During the hearing, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, told the apex court that they are collecting information from states on religious conversion through such bad practices and sought a week's time time to provide detailed information on the issue. The Court granted him time till December 12 when the matter will be heard again.

    According to the news agency PTI, when a lawyer asked about the maintainability of the plea, the court said, "Do not be so technical. We are here to find a solution. We are here for a cause. We are here to set things right. If the purpose of the charity is good then it is welcome but what is required to be considered is the intention."

    "Do not take it as adversarial. It is a very serious issue. Ultimately it is against our Constitution. When everyone stays in India, they have to act per the culture of India," the bench observed," the apex court said.

    There have been accusations against some religious orders that they were converting people from other religions by offering various forms of charity including education for their children.

    Forced religious conversion may pose a danger to national security and impinge on the religious freedom of citizens, the top court had said recently and asked the Centre to step in and make sincere efforts to tackle the "very serious" issue. The top court had on September 23 sought responses from the Centre and others to the plea.

    Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay in his plea mentioned that forced religious conversion is a nationwide problem which needs to be tackled immediately. "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'," the plea submitted stated.

    The plea has also sought directions to the Law Commission of India to prepare a report as well as a Bill to control religious conversion by intimidation and through monetary benefits.


    (With PTI Inputs)

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