Article 25 (1) of the Constitution does not imply the right to convert others : Supreme Court

In 1997, the Madhya Pradesh Government enacted a law against conversions. Rev. Stanislaus filed a petition against this in the Supreme Court.

Referring to Article 25 (1), Chief Justice Ray, writing for the Court, held : What the Article grants is not the right to convert another person to one’s own religion, but to transmit or spread one’s religion by an exposition of its tenets. “Every individual is free to convert to another religion, but doing this through mental brainwashing or deceit is unethical. If full permission for conversions is granted, then every religion will begin its campaign of preaching and all will try to convert by unfair means”, he said. The Court stated that the State Government will have full powers to punish people who support such wrong practices and are party to performing them.

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