PIL Against Religious Conversions : Ashwini Upadhyay Withdraws Affidavit With Objectionable Comments Against Minorities

Update: 2023-02-03 09:36 GMT

The Supreme Court on Friday considered a batch of petitions in relation to religious conversions. Some cases in the batch seek action against religious conversions by force or allurement and other cases challenge the validity of anti-conversion laws passed by various States. The matter was listed before a bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha

In today's proceedings, Senior Advocate Arvind P Datar, appearing for Mr. Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay(petitioner seeking action against religious conversions by force or fraud), apprised the bench that he had withdrawn the additional affidavit in which some statements had been objected to. 

The Supreme Court had earlier taken exception to certain scurrilous statements made against minority religions in the affidavit in question filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay alleging "mass conversions" taking place across the country. 

Senior Advocate Datar said today–

"On the last occasion, a lot of people had issues with some things said in the additional affidavit. We've decided to withdraw the entire additional affidavit."

However, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for an intervenor, said that there were objectionable statements not just in the affidavit, but in the writ petition as well. 

CJI DY Chandrachud said–

"Mr Datar, you're appearing as an officer of court, just make sure there is a sanctity of petition too."

Various intervention applications had been filed in the matter arguing that the Upadhyay's petition's averments relating to the minority communities in India were objectionable.  

Along with the petitions challenging the conversion laws, the court had listed Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind's transfer petition seeking to transfer to it 21 cases pending in 6 High Courts challenging the laws relating to religious conversions enacted by various states. 

The Court today issued notice on certain fresh petitions challenging ant-conversion laws.

Case Title: CJP v. State of UP And Anr. WP (Crl) No. 428/2020 PIL + Jamiat Ulama-e-hind Gujarat And Ors. v. State of Gujarat Diary No. 3670/2023 + PUCL And Anr. v. State of Uttarakhand And Ors. WP(C) No. 124/2023


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