Breaking: Attorney General Objects To Supreme Court Hearing Pleas Against State Anti-Conversion Laws Bypassing High Courts
The Supreme Court today adjourned to Friday, a batch of pleas against anti-conversion laws of several states regulating religious conversion due to interfaith marriages and matters related to deceitful religious conversions.
A Bench comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice PS Narasimha and Justice JB Pardiwala said that all the petitions relating to the issue will be listed on Friday.
Senior Advocate CU Singh for a petitioner, Citizens for Justice and Peace challenging the state laws sought that notice be issued and stay be granted, stating that new laws are being made in states, each more virulent than the previous one. He also objected to the submission of the Centre that it wants to file an affidavit challenging the locus standi of a petitioner, stating that the Centre has not filed its pleadings in cases where notice has been issued and is seeking to file pleadings where notice has not been issued.
Attorney General R. Venkataramani submitted that he has "serious objections" to the Supreme Court hearing the pleas challenging state legislations, bypassing the High Courts. The CJI responded by saying that the objection will be considered on Friday.
A fresh application had been filed by Advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay saying that the matters related to alleged forcible religious conversions, which are presently being heard by a three-judge bench, may be taken up by a larger bench of five judges as they involve the interpretation of the Constitution.
In another application, Upadhyay has sought modification of the order dated January 9 in which the apex court had directed that the matter be listed under the title of "In Re: The issue of Religious conversion" to the original title.
The Supreme Court has been hearing petition filed by Citizens for Justice and Peace, and other connected petitions, challenging the validity of the enactments in the States of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Jharkhand and Karnataka.
Also, the Supreme Court is hearing two Special Leave Petitions filed respectively by the States of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh challenging interim orders passed by the High Courts of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh granting a stay on certain provisions of the State enactments, namely, the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act 2003 and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 2021.
During the previous hearing, Senior Advocate Kapil Sibal stated that five writ petitions have been filed before the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad, seven before the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, two before the High Court of Gujarat, two before the High Court of Jharkhand, three before the High Court of Himachal Pradesh, one before the High Court of Karnataka and one before the High Court of Uttarakhand where the State enactments are challenged.
Further, Senior Advocate Sibal said that in view of the pendency of the proceedings before diverse High Courts, a transfer petition would be filed before the Supreme Court Court for clubbing and transferring the petitions for adjudication.
A Christian man from the Roman Catholic Denomination had approached the Supreme Court filing a Writ Petition seeking action against deceitful religious conversions done by other Christian denominations.
Earlier, while hearing the batch of cases against deceitful religious conversions, the Supreme Court had asked the Attorney General to assist the Court in the matter.
During an earlier hearing, the Court had observed that the purpose of charity should not be conversion.
Cause Title- Citizens for Justice and Peace v. The State of Uttar Pradesh & Anr.