Forced religious conversions dangerous, affect nation’s security: Supreme Court

The Supreme Court on Monday described forced religious conversions as a “very dangerous” issue which may “affect the security of the nation and freedom of religion and conscience”.

The bench of Justices M R Shah and Hima Kohli asked the Union Government to make its stand clear on the matter by November 22.

The Bench was hearing a petition filed by BJP leader and Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay seeking directions to the Union Government and states to take stringent steps to check religious conversions.

Representing the Union Government, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta said that there are state legislations on the matter, especially in Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.

The petition said that every week, incidents are reported throughout the country “where conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceiving, luring through gifts and monetary benefits and also by using black magic, superstition, miracles but the Centre has not taken any stringent steps to stop this menace”.

“The issue with respect to the 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… Therefore, it is better that the Union government may make their stand clear and file counter on what steps can be taken by Union and/ or others to curb such forced conversion, maybe by force, allurement or fraudulent means,” said the Bench.