Madras HC Rejects Plea To Direct Centre To Enact Anti-Conversion Law

The Madras High Court last week dismissed a plea that sought a direction to Central Government to enact a law prohibiting forced and induced religious conversions.

Hindu Dharma Parishad had filed a Public Interest Litigation before Madurai bench of the High Court seeking a direction to the Centre to enact a new special law to prohibit the conversion from one religion to another by the use of force or allurement or by fraudulent means.

Terming the prayer 'thoroughly misconceived', the division bench comprising Justice T.S.Sivagnanam and Justice Krishnan Ramasamy said that it cannot issue a direction to the Government to enact a law in a particular manner as sought by Parishad.

The state had enacted a law viz. Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion Act in 2002. Section 3 of the said Act had provided that no person shall convert or attempt to convert, either directly or otherwise, any person from one religion to another by the use of force or by allurement or by any fraudulent means nor shall any person abet any such conversion. It was later repealed in 2006 following protests.

Some states in India have enacted similar anti-conversion laws. Recently Himachal Pradesh Legislature passed bill prohibiting Forced Religious Conversions.

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