ANTI CONVERSION LAWS IN INDIA

INTRODUCTION

Religion is a belief system that integrates culture, teachings, practices, personal experiences, and artistic expressions which relate people to what they perceive to be transcendent. Religion has two facets which divide the world on the one hand and unites the globe in its own ways on the other. Still religion has always been a difficult subject to deal with. 

 

The Concept of Religion in Indian Perspective

The Indian perspective on religion differs significantly from that of the rest of the world. Religion in India is more of an emotional problem than a social, political, or economic issue. Religion is one of the most important and decisive political factors, and it has a significant impact on election contests.Before delving into the specifics and dynamics of religion in India, it’s important to grasp the country’s cultural and constitutional perspectives. In reality, Indian culture is defined by its diversity, which is what makes it so appealing. In India, religion is deeply rooted, with regionally distinct religious customs.Consider Jammu and Kashmir, which has a Muslim majority, while Punjab has a Sikh majority, Nagaland, Meghalaya, and Mizoram have Christian majorities, and Indian Himalayan states like Sikkim, Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Darjeeling, and West Bengal’s District of West Bengal have large Buddhist populations. The Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain, and Zoroastrian populations in India are large enough. In India, Islam is the most widely practised religion. India’s Muslims are the world’s third-largest Muslim community, accounting for more than 14% of the country’s total population.

The Supreme Court of India, in the landmark case S.R. Bommai Vs Union of India, held that India has always been a secular state from the founding of the constitution. The Indian Constitution guarantees citizens the freedom to peacefully exercise and proclaim their faith.Despite our Constitution’s guarantee of religious liberty, several episodes of religious intolerance have led in riots and bloodshed, including the 1984 Anti-Sikh riots in Delhi, the 1990 Anti-Hindu riots in Kashmir, the 2002 Gujarat riots, and the 2008 Anti-Christian riots.

 

 CASE LAW

The new UP Ordinance is now regarded as contradicting the Allahabad High Court’s recent ruling in Sufiya Sultana V. State of U.P.2021 SCC Online 19 dated 14.12.2020 in the matter of Sufiya Sultana V. State of U.P.2021 SCC Online 19 dated 14.12.2020.By declaring those provisions as declaratory and not mandatory, the Supreme Court has done away with the requirement of mandatory publication of notice and inviting objection under sections 5, 6 and 7 of the Special Marriage Act, 1954, as they are in violation of citizens’ right to privacy, which was declared a fundamental right by a 9-judge bench of the Supreme Court in the case of K.S. Puttaswamy. 

 

Religious conversions carried out without a bona fide belief and for the sole aim of receiving any legal benefit are unlawful and do not hold water, according to the Supreme Court in the landmark judgments of Lily Thomas V. Union of India and Sarla Mudgal V. Union of India in 1995. These examples included Hindu males converting to Islam in order to consummate bigamous marriages.

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