Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay
Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay
Litigation News

Ashwini Upadhyay withdraws PIL against forceful conversion after Delhi HC states conversion is a personal choice

Aditi Singh

Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay today withdrew his PIL before the Delhi High Court through which he had sought steps to control forceful conversion to another religion.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice DN Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar remarked today,

"What is the controversy here? It is one person's choice..."
Delhi High Court

Appearing for Upadhyay, Senior Advocate Vikas Singh argued that while every individual had the freedom to profess any religion of his/her choice without discrimination, conversion of socially and economically downtrodden people was rampant.

Singh thus sought a direction to the Central government to take apposite steps to stop religious conversion by use of intimidation, threat, deception, black magic etc.

Reliance was also placed on the recommendations of Law Commission of India's 235th Report on Conversion/Reconversion to Another Religion.

In response the Court stated that it was not inclined to issue notice in the petition. It remarked,

"Let them (forcefully converted) come to court , why should you come....if someone is threatened, it is a separate offence."

It added,

"How can one understand if someone is converting on his own will or not?...Come in such a matter where we can give you some relief."

Delhi High Court

The Court further observed that even as per the Law Commission Report, a person was given a time frame within which he/she could take steps against a forceful conversion.

The petition was subsequently withdrawn by Upadhyay.

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