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Forced religious conversion Is serious issue, says SC

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It is a very serious issue which affects security of the nation and freedom of religion and conscience, the top court said. It is better that Union of India may make their stand clear and file a counter affidavit on what further steps can be taken to curb such forced conversion, the bench said.

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday termed forced religious conversion a “very serious” issue and directed the Centre to take action to check the practice. If the forced religious conversions are not stopped, it would lead to a “very difficult” situation, the apex court said.

A bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Hima Kohli directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to enumerate measures to curb the practice with the help of allurement.

Mehta said that there were two acts made by MP and Odisha on forcible religious conversion and pointed that people are lured by giving rice and wheat, which is a ground for conversion. Mehta further said, “It is rampant in tribal areas.”

The court said, “This is a very serious matter. Since efforts are to be made by the Centre to stop forced conversions. Otherwise very difficult situation will come. Tell us what action do you propose …. You have to step in.”

It is a very serious issue which affects security of the nation and freedom of religion and conscience, the top court said, adding that there it is better that Union of India may make their stand clear and file a counter affidavit on what further steps an be taken to curb such forced conversion, the bench said.

The top court also said there is freedom of religion, but no freedom of forced conversion. The bench made the remark while it was hearing a petition filed by a lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay against fraudulent religions conversion and religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits.

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