religious conversion: SC notice to Center on plea seeking action against forced religious conversion

The Supreme Court on Friday sought response from the Center and others on a plea seeking direction to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion by “intimidation” and through “gifts and monetary benefits”. A bench of Justices MR Shah and Krishna Murari issued notices to the Union of India, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Law and Justice.

The top court asked the parties to file a reply by November 14.

The apex court was hearing a plea filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking direction to the Center and states to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion by “intimidation, threatening, deceptively luring through gifts and monetary benefits”.

Upadhyay submitted that this is a nationwide problem which needs to be tackled immediately.

“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 Center and States have not taken stringent steps to stop this menace,” said the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.

The plea has also sought directions to the Law Commission of India to prepare a report as well as a Bill to control religious conversion by intimidation and monetary benefits.

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