Supreme Court: Forced religious conversions very serious matter

New Delhi: Terming the forced religious conversion a “very serious issue”, the Supreme Court on Monday asked the Centre about what steps it will take to prevent such incidents.
“What kind of steps will you (Centre) take and make sincere efforts to check the practice,” a two-judge bench headed by Justice MR Shah and also comprising Justice Hima Kohli said.
“Forceful conversion of religion will not only affect the Union of India but also affect the freedom of religion and conscience of individuals, the Supreme Court observed on Monday.
The Supreme Court was hearing the PIL filed by Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and lawyer, Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, seeking direction to Centre and States to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion as well as religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits.
The Supreme Court asked the Centre to file a detailed affidavit by November 22 as to what steps it had taken and will take towards forced religious conversions and fixed the matter for further hearing to November 28.
“The issue with respect to alleged conversion of religion, if it is found to be correct and true, is a very serious issue which may ultimately affect the security of the nation as well as the freedom of religion and conscience of the citizens,” the Supreme Court observed.
The Supreme Court also went on to say that therefore, it is better that the Union of India should make their stand clear and file counter on what further steps can be taken to curb such forced conversion. (UNI)

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