Delhi

Conversion to a different faith is an individual’s choice: HC

High Court Bench said this while asking petitioner to withdraw his plea as it did not want to reject it

The Delhi High Court on Friday said that religion is a personal belief and whether to convert to a different faith or not is an individual’s choice while declining to entertain a plea for stopping or regulating religious conversions.

A Bench of Chief Justice D.N. Patel and Justice C. Hari Shankar asked the petitioner, BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, to withdraw the petition as it did not want to reject it.

Following this, Mr. Upadhyay sought permission to withdraw the matter and the Bench allowed him to do so.

When the petition came up for hearing, the Bench said, “Tell us how can we regulate it? What will we regulate? If someone is threatening someone or intimidating someone, it is an offence under the Indian Penal Code.”

The Bench added that there was no reason for an individual to succumb to threats, intimidation or allurement to convert to a different faith.

Mr. Upadhyay, in his plea, had contended that many individuals, NGOs and institutions are converting downtrodden persons, particularly of the Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe community, by “intimidating, threatening, luring by monetary benefits and by other acts, including miracle healing, black magic and more”.

It also claimed that as per the 2011 census, Hindus constitute 79% of the population down from 86 per cent in 2001 and if no action is taken “Hindus will become minority in India”.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 10:48:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Delhi/conversion-to-a-different-faith-is-an-individuals-choice-hc/article31065042.ece

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