NEW DELHI: BJP leader and lawyer Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay on Friday withdrew the plea from Delhi High Court which sought a direction to take steps to control religious conversions by intimidating, threatening or deceivingly luring unwitting individuals with gifts or monetary benefits or by using miracles, superstition and black magic.
Upadhyay withdrew the petition with a liberty to move the appropriate forum after the court asked him to do so as the court did not want to entertain it.
During the hearing, Upadhyay told a division bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar that through his plea he only wants the government to take a stand on religious conversion.
While the bench said that the right to convert is a matter of personal choice and if someone is threatening a person for conversion, it is a separate offence in the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
He had sought appropriate steps to prohibit religious gatherings, which are intended to mislead people by making false and untenable claims, designed to lure ignorant masses in joining a particular faith or religious group by false exaggerated claims of possession of divine and supernatural powers, in the spirit of the observations of the Allahabad High Court.
He had sought to take appropriate steps to implement the recommendations of Law Commission Report-235 on Conversion and Reconversion to Another Religion.
In his plea, Upadhyay had stated that India is a victim of religious conversions for many centuries and therefore, it is the duty of the state to take appropriate steps to stop religious conversion of socially economically downtrodden men, women and children, particularly of the SC-STs community, being done by intimidating, threatening and various other methods. (ANI)