A plea has been moved in the Delhi High Court by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay seeking control on religious conversion through inducement or intimidation.
Highlighting induced religious conversions as a violation of the fundamental rights of an individual, the plea also demands implementation of the 235th Law Commission Report on Conversions.
It is submitted by the Petitioner that the economically weaker and socially backward sections of society are targeted for forcible religious conversions. He says:
'The mass religious conversion of the socially economically downtrodden men, women and children, and, in particular of the schedule caste and schedule tribe community, is on the rise in the last 20 years.'
Petitioner has also pointed out that according to him, there are instances where religious conversions are carried out through black magic or by using miracles.
'The Organizations operate very smoothly targeting socially economically downtrodden men, women and children, and in particular of the schedule caste and schedule tribe community, with fraudulent tricks such as mass prayers of miracle healing and marketing campaigns of black magic', the petition states.
It is submitted that the practice of religious conversions not only violates one's fundamental right to preach and practice one's own religion, it also goes against the duties enshrined under Article 51A of the Constitution.
Citing India as a victim of religious conversions for many centuries, the petition submits that it is duty of the State to take appropriate steps to stop religious conversion of socially economically downtrodden men, women and children, particularly of the SC-ST community.
It is also alleged by the Petitioner that foreign funded NGOs and individuals are given monthly targets with respect to religious conversions. Moreover, it is argued, that religious conversions are also being carried out through social media websites such as YouTube and Facebook.
'if no action will be taken by the Government, Hindus will become a minority in India', the petition submits.
In light of these claims, the Petitioner has asked the court to issue directions to both the Union as well as the Delhi Government, to take measures to control forcible religious conversions.
In addition to that, the Petitioner has also asked for the government to religious gatherings, which are intended to mislead people by making false and untenable claims, designed to allegedly lure people to convert to a particular faith or religion.
Click here to download the Petition