Rajasthan High Court Plans Law to Curb Fraudulent Religious Conversions

Mainstream
24-Jun-2024
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The newly formed Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP)-led government in Rajasthan has informed the Supreme Court that it is in the process of drafting legislation aimed at curbing fraudulent religious conversions. This disclosure came during a hearing of a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, which seeks measures to prevent coerced and fraudulent religious conversions.


Currently, Rajasthan lacks a specific law to address the conversion of individuals from one religion to another. However, in its response to the Supreme Court, the state government affirmed its commitment to developing its own legislation to fill this legal void. Until the new law is enacted, Rajasthan has pledged to follow the directions issued by the Supreme Court regarding matters of religious conversion.


The state’s response was part of the ongoing PIL petition filed by Upadhyay. The petition calls for stringent actions by both the Union and State governments to prevent fraudulent and coercive religious conversions. Upadhyay’s petition highlights the need for measures against conversions achieved through intimidation, threats, deceitful inducements, and monetary benefits.


The BJP leader's plea emphasizes the urgency of addressing this issue, arguing that fraudulent and forced conversions undermine religious freedom and disrupt societal harmony. The petition suggests that legislative measures are necessary to protect individuals from being coerced or deceived into changing their faith.


Rajasthan's move to frame a law on this issue aligns with a broader national conversation about religious conversions and the need for legal safeguards. The state's commitment to adhere to the Supreme Court's directions in the interim underscores the significance of judicial guidance in addressing complex social and religious issues.


As the Rajasthan government works on its legislation, the Supreme Court's oversight ensures that the state's efforts align with constitutional principles and human rights standards. The forthcoming law aims to balance the protection of religious freedom with the prevention of exploitation and coercion in religious conversions.


The next steps in this legal and legislative process will be closely watched, as they will have significant implications for the governance of religious conversions in Rajasthan and potentially influence broader national policies on the issue.


Author: Anushka Taraniya

News writer