Refusing to entertain a public interest litigation of a BJP leader, Supreme Court noted that a person above the age of 18 years is free to choose a religion of his or her choice. The petitioner had sought ban on black magic, superstition, and deceitful religious conversion.
The apex court bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Narimang termed the PIL a “”publicity interest litigation”.
“No reason why a person above 18 cannot choose his or her religion. There is a reason why the word “propagate” is there in Indian Constitution under Article 25,” Justice Nariman said.
After the apex court refused to entertain his PIL, petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay withdrew the plea. He told me that he is going to approach the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Law Commission.
Ashwini Upadhyay who is a Delhi based BJP leader and an advocate, had moved the Supreme Court seeking directions to ban black magic, superstition and fraudulent and forcible religious conversions. He had also urged the directions to the government to appoint a committee to ascertain the feasibility of enacting anti-conversion law to check the abuse of religion.
“Religious conversion by ‘carrot and stick’ and by ‘hook or crook’ not only offends Articles 14, 21, 25, but is also against the principles of secularism, which is integral part of basic structure of Constitution,” said the plea filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey.
The plea further said, “The Central and State government have failed to control the menace of black magic, superstition and deceitful religious conversion, though it’s their duty under Article 51A.”