Delhi BJP lawyer Ashwini Upadhyay on Friday withdrew his affidavit that contained objectionable remarks against minorities.
“There was some objections to some portions. We are withdrawing that additional affidavit," senior advocate Arvind Datar, appearing for Upadhyay, told a Supreme Court bench of Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud and Justice PS Narasimha that was hearing multiple petitions, some against religious conversions and others challenging the stringent anti-conversion laws in some states.
There are “vexatious and baseless” allegations in Upadhyay's main petition as well, contended senior advocate Dushyant Dave appearing for a minority organisation.
𝗨𝗽𝗮𝗱𝗵𝘆𝗮𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗹𝗶𝗲𝗿 𝗳𝗶𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝘀𝗶𝗺𝗶𝗹𝗮𝗿 𝗽𝗲𝘁𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗶𝗻 𝗦𝗖 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗛𝗖: 𝗔𝗱𝘃 𝗗𝗮𝘃𝗲
Dave also contended that Upadhyay had earlier filed similar petitions before the top court and the Delhi High Court.
Organisations such as Citizens for Justice and Peace and the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind have challenged laws against religious conversions in some states.
Appeals have also been filed by the Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat governments challenging interim orders passed by the respective high courts in similar matters.
𝗨𝗽𝗮𝗱𝗵𝘆𝗮𝘆 𝗵𝗮𝘀 𝘀𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗽𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗮𝗰𝗸𝗹𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗰𝗲𝗳𝘂𝗹 𝗿𝗲𝗹𝗶𝗴𝗶𝗼𝘂𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻
The plea filed by Upadhyay had sought stringent steps to tackle forceful religious conversions. The PIL claimed that fraudulent and deceitful religious conversion is rampant across the country and the central government has failed to control its menace.
Upadhya's plea was earlier being heard by a bench headed by Justice MR Shah who had observed that forceful religious conversion is a very serious issue that threatens the security of the country and citizens' freedom of conscience.
The bench led by Justice Shah had earlier taken a dim view of religious conversion in the guise of charity, stating that the intention of persons offering such charity will have to be examined in such cases.
Subsequently, the petition was transferred to the Chief Justice of India to be heard along with the petitions challenging anti-conversion laws.
𝗦𝗖 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗲𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗲𝗸𝘀 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗶-𝗟𝗼𝘃𝗲 𝗝𝗶𝗵𝗮𝗱 𝗹𝗮𝘄𝘀
The fundamental right to practice and propagate any religion under the Constitution does not include any fundamental right to convert people, the central government had told the Supreme Court in an affidavit.
Meanwhile, the apex court had earlier this month directed the parties challenging anti-conversion laws of various states to file a single common transfer petition seeking the transfer of similar petitions pending before various high courts to the apex court.
Justice Chandrachud in Friday's hearing gave the respondent states three weeks to file their counter-affidavits.
The bench also remarked that it was not inclined to pass any directions on Upadhyay's prayer to order the Law Commission to prepare a report on 'deceitful religious conversions' and a law to tackle this.
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