11 Dec 2022 7:05 AM GMT
Academician Dr. Sakhi John has filed an application for Intervention in the Writ Petition titled Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya vs. Union of India W.P. (C) No. 63 of 2022 stating that the petition is not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed in limine as the prayers made in it by the Petitioner are not tenable inasmuch as they pray for the court to legislate on the issue of forceful...
Academician Dr. Sakhi John has filed an application for Intervention in the Writ Petition titled Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya vs. Union of India W.P. (C) No. 63 of 2022 stating that the petition is not maintainable and deserves to be dismissed in limine as the prayers made in it by the Petitioner are not tenable inasmuch as they pray for the court to legislate on the issue of forceful conversion which is the parliament's task. It also argues that the petition's several averments relating to the minority communities in India are objectionable. It states, "...to say that the entire Christian and Muslim community is practicing deceitful means to convert Hindus to their faith is objectionable and untruth."
It further states, "Petition qualifies itself as having many averments which on the face of it looks like a deliberate act on the part of Writ Petitioner to make malicious averments which has propensity to cause an outrage of the religious feelings of a class of citizens in India especially the Christians and Muslims."
The Intervention Application further argues that the petitioner in the abovementioned Writ Petition has not conducted any proper research before proceeding to the court under Article 32. It states, "That the Petitioner to the writ petition, who is praying for a central legislation should actually take a cue from the effectiveness of anti conversion laws which would clearly demonstrate the facts as to in how many cases force has been used, how many cases of fraud have been reported and how many cases of allurement have been brought to book. Without undertaking such an exercise, the Petitioner rushing to this Hon'ble Court invoking the jurisdiction of this Hon'ble Court under Article 32 is nothing but an abuse of process of law."
The Application further argues that the Petitioner has presented no data whatsoever to justify or support his averments relating to forceful conversion. It states, "a false narrative of conversion is stated in the instant Writ Petition – it is an admitted fact by the Petitioner that the Population of India as per the 2011 census shows that Christian population is only a meagre 2.30% and there is no demonstrated data to show that mass conversions are happening in the country at the behest of the Christian community."
Arguing in support of the constitutional guarantee of freedom of conscience the application states, "The fact that the criminal administrative system of the states are ineffective to book people who practice force, fraud on individuals should not be a reason for making legislation which actually causes an impediment in the free expression of one's conscience."
The Application further outlines the teachings in the Bible and says, "... conversion as narrated and demonstrated by the petitioner is not true and is against the Holy Bible…Nowhere in the Holy Scriptures does it provide for forceful conversion a no scriptural reference is there for the word "conversion" anywhere in the Holy Bible. The Bible condemns any use of force, fraud, threat or allurement on any person for any purpose because the basic understanding of the Biblical teaching is that – All Men are born equal. And all are equal in the eyes of God…That the Petitioner has attempted to portray that the charitable activities of Christian organisations is with a hidden agenda of conversion. The Applicant submits that this averment made by the Petitioner is without understanding the true teachings of Lord Jesus Christ."
The Application also further argues for existence of spiritual fluidity of citizens. It states, "A spiritual fluidity that is a psychological, mental construct needs to be appreciated by this Hon'ble Court and to be left alone to the individual to select, switch, revert, convert to the level of fluidity he or she wants at any time, any place, at any instance without interference from any State or non-State actors exercising any control over the will of the person."
Arguing that religion is a private affair and any interference with it would amount to violation of an individual's right to privacy, the application states, "This Hon'ble Court having said that sexual orientation is a strictly private affair that State cannot look into, should also consider declaring their religious orientation or a spiritual orientation falls in the same category of a strictly private and personal aspect of a person."
It further argues, "This Hon'ble Court speaking through a Nine Bench in Union of India vs KS Puttuswamy 2017 (10) SCC 1 has endorsed the fact that Right to Privacy is a fundamental right and part of Article 21. Thus, any effort to infringe into freedom of conscience of a person, either by a State or a Non-State actor is unconstitutional as it infringes on the Privacy of a citizen. Article 21 guarantees the Right to Privacy and the Right to Choose for every individual, that is, conversion to any religion is a private matter as well as the personal choice of the individual."
The Application also vehemently opposes the petitioner's statements in the writ petition stating that minorities in India are foreigners and not Indians. It states, "The Christians in India are not foreigners as stated by the Writ Petitioner. The Petitioner has tried to create a narrative that Christianity and Islam are foreign religions and has tried to demonstrate that all the followers of these two religions are also foreign."
The application has been filed through Advocate Manoj George.
Case Title: Ashwini Kumar Upadhyaya vs. Union of India W.P. (C) No. 63 of 2022