New Delhi – In its affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the Union Government has said that laws against forcible conversions should be passed in the States by the respective State Governments. The Supreme Court had asked the Union Government to present its argument.
The Union Government informed the Supreme Court that such laws have been passed in some States, viz. Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and Karnataka. During the last hearing, the Supreme Court had said that forcible religious conversions were a serious matter. This can influence the citizens’ freedom of following their own religion and rationale, besides the security of this country, therefore, the Union Government should make its stand clear on this issue.
The Government was also asked to apprise the Supreme Court of the steps taken by it in this context. BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay had filed a petition against religious conversions in the country seeking direction to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion by ‘intimidation’ and through ‘gifts and monetary benefits’.
The Union Government stated that forcible religious conversions are a serious matter and strict measures need to be taken to stop it. There is a need to even pass laws for the protection of the rights of women, and of socially and financially backward people.
The Union Government said that Right to freedom of religion doesn’t include fundamental right to convert.
Attempts for religious conversions in Mangaluru (Karnataka) exposed
A case has been filed against a lady doctor and two other people at Mangaluru – Khalil, Dr Jamila and Aman – for attempts to forcibly convert people. The mother of an aggrieved young woman named Shivani lodged a Police complaint. Shivani was given a false promise of a good job, but was sexually exploited and forced to convert.