Supreme Court Opens Up On ‘Forced Religious Conversion’, Says Centre Must Intervene As It Influences The Safety Of The Country

Calling forced religious conversion an “extremely critical” problem, the Supreme Court on Monday requested the Centre to intervene and take the required steps to stop it. SC further cautioned an “extremely challenging situation” would arise if forced religious conversions aren’t intercepted.

Hima Kohli and M R Shah requested Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to list steps to restrain the practice via different means. “It’s a really critical issue. The Centre should take sincere actions to control forced conversions. Otherwise, an extremely problematic situation will come. Tell us what effort you suggest. You must step in.”

“It’s a critical problem which influences the country’s safety and independence of religion and sense of right and wrong. Thus, it would be good that Union of India may make their stand clear and file counter on what additional measures can be taken to restrain such forced conversion,” the bench stated. 

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta further stated that such conversions are uncontrolled in tribal areas, “mostly the victims are not mindful they are the subject matter of illicit violation and would say they are being assisted.” “Then what is the government doing,” questioned the bench.

The supreme court was hearing a petition registered by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay finding the direction to the Centre and states to take strict measures to restrain deceitful religious conversion by “threatening, intimidation, deceivingly alluring through gifts and monetary advantages.”  It even asked for advice from the Centre and declared to take strict actions to prevent such conversions and ordered the Law Commission to draft a report and a Bill to restrict religious conversions by monetary benefits and through intimidation.

“The damage induced to the citizens is quite immense because there is not even one district which is unrestrained of religious conversion by ‘hook and crook and the carrot and the stick’,” Upadhyay stated in his petition. The Supreme Court has suggested the Centre file an affidavit by November 22 describing measures carried out against forced religious conversion.