TN government tells SC that anti-conversion laws prone to misuse against minorities

New Delhi: The Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) led Tamil Nadu government has contended before the Supreme Court that the anti-conversion laws are prone to misuse against minorities.

It said that there has been no incidents of forceful conversion reported in the past many years, as far as Tamil Nadu is concerned.

“[T]he acts of missionaries spreading Christianity by itself cannot be seen as something against law. But if their act of spreading their religion is against public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III of the Constitution it has to be viewed seriously,” read the affidavit filed by the state government before the apex court.

It submitted that the citizens of the country should be allowed freely to choose their religion and it would not be appropriate for the government to put spokes to their personal belief and privacy.

“The Constitution of India does not give a fundamental right to any person to tum another man into one's own religion. But it gives a right to any person to propagate his religion,” it said responding to a petition seeking directions to Centre and States to take stringent steps against fraudulent religious conversion.

Terming the plea filed by Ashwini Kumar Upadyay as “politically motivated”, the state government said that the former BJP spokesperson is using the court process to abuse particular religions and seek orders in tune with his policies.

In his PIL, Upadyay claimed that several incidents are reported in the state where religious conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceivingly, luring through gifts and also by using black magic and superstition.

In 2002, the State of Tamil Nadu passed the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion Act, 2002 (Tamil Nadu Act 56 of 2002). However, the same was repealed by the Tamil Nadu Prohibition of Forcible Conversion of Religion (Repeal) Act, 2006 due to popular opposition.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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