Law ministry

Fraudulent religious conversion: SC sends notice to Center, MHA and Department of Justice

Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay’s plea argues that the right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 is not an absolute right but subject to public order, health and good morals.

New Delhi,UPDATED: Sep 23, 2022 9:23 p.m. IST

The Supreme Court of India

While some states have enacted anti-conversion laws, SC’s petition calls for stronger Center and state provisions to stop forced conversions.

By Kanu Sarda: The Supreme Court on Friday issued an opinion on a PIL calling for strict provisions in the Indian Penal Code to control fraudulent religious conversions and conversions through intimidation, the lure of gifts and monetary benefits.

A bench headed by Judge MR Shah sent notices to the Centre, Home Ministry and Ministry of Justice asking for their responses and scheduled the hearing for November 14.

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The court was hearing a plea filed by attorney Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay asking the Center and the states to take strict measures to control fraudulent religious conversions through intimidation, luring them with gifts and monetary benefits.

“The harm to citizens is extremely significant as there is not even a neighborhood that is free from ‘hook and crook’ religious conversion. Incidents are reported weekly across the country where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceptively luring with gifts and monetary benefits and also using black magic, superstition and miracles, but the Center and states have not taken strong measures to stop this threat. “, read the plea.

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It has also been argued that the right to religion guaranteed by Article 25 is not an absolute right but subject to public order, health and good morals. “Therefore, religious conversion using miracles, superstition and black magic is not protected by Section 25,” the plea reads.

The petition also called for amendments to the FCRA and IPC and stated, “Sections 375A, 409A and 493A may be inserted into the IPC to prohibit religious conversion by intimidating, threatening and deceptively luring by gifts and monetary benefits and using black magic and superstition.”

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