Published by: Biswadip Dey | Posted: September 23, 2022 1:31 pm| Updated: September 23, 2022 1:31 pm
Somnath Roy, New Delhi: The Supreme Court issued a notice to the Union Home Ministry and the Union Law Ministry to prevent forced and misguided religious conversion. A bench headed by Justice M R Shah observed that conversions through intimidation, lure of gifts and money, fraud are rampant. Strict laws will be introduced in the Indian Penal Code to prevent it. The court ordered the next hearing of the case on November 14, giving four weeks time to the Center to express its views.
The case was heard in the apex court on the basis of the request of lawyer Ashwinikumar Upadhyay on Friday. Ashwini’s plea was for the Supreme Court to issue strict orders to the Center and states to prevent fraudulent conversions. His conversions are being made through various means such as accusations, intimidation, threats, gifts to deceive and enticement through financial benefits. According to him, not a particular state, but the whole country is facing this problem. It needs to be dealt with immediately.
The petition submitted to the Supreme Court also stated that not a single district is free from all kinds of conversions. As a result, the people of the country have to suffer in a big way. Every week such incidents are coming to light from different parts of the country. But till now no strict action is being taken against it by central or state administration.
Incidentally, in the last few years, the practice of introducing anti-conversion laws has intensified. The first sentencing in the country has taken place under the anti-conversion law recently introduced in Uttar Pradesh. The young man was accused of abducting a local Hindu minor and converting him. In December 2021, the Anti-Conversion Act was passed in Uttar Pradesh. Basically this step was taken to prevent profit jihad. The Act provides for a maximum imprisonment of ten years for those found guilty of this act. But if one tries to convert after marriage, only in that case the maximum punishment is prescribed.