14 Jan 2023 3:14 PM GMT
A change of bench has taken place in the PIL filed in the Supreme Court alleging that mass religious conversions were taking place in India through forceful and fraudulent means.The matter, which was being heard by a bench led by Justice MR Shah, will be heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala on Monday (January 16).On January...
A change of bench has taken place in the PIL filed in the Supreme Court alleging that mass religious conversions were taking place in India through forceful and fraudulent means.
The matter, which was being heard by a bench led by Justice MR Shah, will be heard by a bench comprising Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud, Justices PS Narasimha and JB Pardiwala on Monday (January 16).
On January 9, the bench led by Justice MR Shah had changed the causetitle of the PIL filed by BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay(WP(c) No.63/2022) as "In Re : The Issue of Religious Conversion". Observing that the matter was "very serious", the bench had also sought the assistance of Attorney General for India R Venkataramani.
The CJI-led bench will consider the matter along with a batch of petitions filed challenging the anti-conversion laws enacted by several States.
Several Christian and Muslim organisations have filed intervention applications in the matter taking exception to certain statements made by the petitioner against minorities. In the hearing held on December 12, 2022, Justice S Ravindra Bhat, who was sharing the bench with Justice MR Shah, had asked the petitioner's counsel Senior Advocate Arvind Datar to withdraw the scurrilous allegations against other religions.
Previously, the bench comprising Justices MR Shah and CT Ravikumar had observed that forceful conversions were a serious issue. Commenting that charity cannot be used for conversion, the bench had asked the Centre to collect information from States regarding the steps taken against conversions through force or allurement.
The bench had also said that it will not accept the objections raised against the maintainability of the PIL by certain intervenors, who pointed out that the Supreme Court had earlier refused to entertain a similar PIL filed by the same petitioner on the same issue. The intervenors alleged that the petitioner was indulging in forum-shopping after unsuccessfully pursuing the matter before other benches in the Supreme Court and the Delhi High Court.
A number of intervention applications have been filed in the Supreme Court alleging that the PIL has been filed on the basis of Whatsapp forwards and unattributed sources to create a false narrative of mass conversions. It has also been alleged that the PIL has made derogatory statements against minorities to further a political agenda.
Case : IN RE : THE ISSUE OF RELIGIOUS CONVERSION (WP(c) No.63/2022)