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‘Women and children on target for conversion…’, information given to the Supreme Court

Supreme Court Hearing: The Supreme Court has been told that women and children are the main targets of conversion through foreign donations in the country. Central and state governments have failed to take proper steps to stop it. In his written submission before a bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice CT Ravikumar hearing a petition against conversion, public interest petitioner Ashwini Upadhyay cited the absence of law on the issue.

On December 5, while hearing a PIL, the top court had said that conversion should not be the aim of charitable work and forced conversion is a ‘serious issue’, which is against the spirit of the Constitution.

The petitioner gave this argument

Ashwini Upadhyay Upadhyay, in the written plea, sought various reliefs including review of rules made under FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act) for foreign funded NGOs and individuals to prevent alleged activities related to religious conversion. In the petition, there has also been a demand to take strict steps to stop the conversion through hawala and other methods.

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In the petition, the Law Commission has been requested to suggest appropriate legislation and guidelines to prevent illegal conversions. Along with this, a request was made to order the Center and the States to confiscate the ill-gotten wealth of the persons and organizations engaged in fraudulent conversions.

‘Women and children on target’

The petitioner says that women and children are the main targets of conversion groups of people receiving foreign donations. The petition states that so far the Center and the States have not taken suitable steps to control conversions within the spirit of Article 15(3), the situation is so dire that many individuals and organizations are living in poverty of socially and economically backward people. Taking advantage of them, they are converting them on a large scale by luring them. It said that converting people by intimidation or greed for money is a more serious crime.

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