Forced religious conversion may pose danger to national safety: SC

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NEW DELHI: Forced religious conversion may pose a danger to national safety and impinge on religious freedom of residents, the Supreme Court stated on Monday, and requested the Centre to step in and make honest efforts to deal with the “very serious” challenge.

The court docket warned a “very difficult situation” will emerge if proselytisation by deception, allurement and intimidation isn’t stopped.

“The challenge with respect to the alleged conversion of faith, whether it is discovered to be right and true, is a really severe challenge which may finally have an effect on the safety of the nation in addition to the liberty of faith and conscience of the residents.

“Therefore, it is better that the Union government may make their stand clear and file counter on what steps can be taken by Union and/or others to curb such forced conversion maybe by force, allurement or fraudulent means,” a bench of Justices M R Shah and Hima Kohli stated.

The court docket requested Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to enumerate measures to curb the observe.

“This is a very serious matter. Sincere efforts are to be made by the Centre to stop forced conversions. Otherwise very difficult situation will come. Tell us what action do you propose….You have to step in,” the bench noticed.

Mehta submitted earlier than the highest court docket that the problem was debated even within the Constituent Assembly.

“There were two Acts. One was by the Odisha government and other one by Madhya Pradesh dealing with regulation of any forcible conversion by deceit, falsehood or fraud, money. These issues came before this court for consideration and the top court upheld the validity,” Mehta stated.

The solicitor basic stated compelled religious conversions are rampant in tribal areas.

Many a time the victims will not be conscious they’re the subject material of prison offence and would say they’re being helped, Mehta stated.

The prime court docket noticed there may be freedom of faith however there can’t be freedom of faith by compelled conversion.

It granted time until November 22, 2022 to the Centre to file its response on the problem and posted the matter for listening to on November 28.

The apex court docket was listening to a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay looking for route to the Centre and states to take stringent steps to management fraudulent religious conversion by “intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits”.

The prime court docket had on September 23 sought responses from the Centre and others to the plea.

Upadhyay submitted in his plea that compelled religious conversion is a nationwide drawback which wants to be tackled instantly.

“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.

“Incidents are reported every week throughout the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits and also by using black magic, superstition, miracles but Centre and States have not taken stringent steps to stop this menace,” stated the plea filed by advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The plea has additionally sought instructions to the Law Commission of India to put together a report in addition to a Bill to management religious conversion by intimidation and thru financial advantages.

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