Delhi had become safe heaven for religious conversion mafia.Anti-Conversion law shall be made

Panasam Akshara | Delhi HC |July 25, 2022

Case-Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay v. Union of India & Ors.

A bench of Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva and Tushar Rao Gedela heard a PIL filed by Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking directions on centre and Delhi Government to frame laws prohibiting forced religious conversions which as per him became a serious problem in Delhi.The Court stated that if the allegations are true it is really serious,it added that allegations are unsubstantiated claims based on apprehension and action could only be taken if some material was bought on record to substantiate the same.Advocate Upadhyay submitted that often foreign funded organization lure individual to undergo religious conversion by promising medical treatments like cancer or knee pain.The petitioner submitted that he can provide videos establishing the same.Tge petitioner argued that there is lack of laws and guidelines on subject of forced religious conversion,Delhi had become a safe heaven for religious conversion mafia.The bench stated that to establish averments the petitioner shall place statistics and other material on record.The bench noted that the documents produced only included newspapers reports and matters pending before different courts.The bench stated that no cognisance can be given to newspaper articles as the same did not represent facts.The court noted it was not mandatory to make law on each subject.It added that to make a law for a particular subject there need to exist a problem which makes it necessary for a law to be framed.To this the petitioner argued that even the CM has agreed that the law should be made in forced religious conversions.The bench opinioned that if legislature itself recognises the problem it shall frame a law and mandate from the court is not necessary.Furthermore the court can advise the legislature to make the law when necessary.However the petitioner was seeking prohibition on all forced conversions as null without informing the court of any instance.The petitioner stated that there are various cases pending regarding the matter.All such cases were filed under Sec-295(Injuring or defiling place of worship) of IPC.To this court stated that the petitioner shall excercise his rights under RTI Act and produce data as well as statistics that the cases were internally the matters of forced religious conversion.The petitioner referred 2010 Law Commission report on Conversion to another religion.He stated that even if the law is not made regarding conversion the recommendation can be implemented through executive order.The case of Sarla Mudgal v. Union of India was cited by petitioner.The court stated that the Sarla case was not regarding prohibition of conversion and the law commission has only recommended and not directed the state to make any law on forced religious conversion.The court asked petitioner to bring relevant material on record to prove averments by filing additional affidavits regarding the matter.The matter has been listed to 31 August,2022.

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