he Supreme Court on Monday said forcible religious conversions were a threat to the “security of the nation” and asked the Centre to make sincere efforts to tackle the “very, very serious” issue.
“The issue with respect to the alleged conversion of religion is very serious. If it is found to be correct and true, it is a very, very serious issue, which may ultimately affect the security of the nation as well as the freedom of religion and conscience of the citizens,” a bench of Justices M.R.Shah and Hima Kohli told the Centre.
“Sincere efforts are to be made by the central government to stop forcible conversion otherwise very dangerous situation will come. Make your stand clear. Tell us what action do you propose. You have to step in,” Justice M.R.Shah, heading the bench, told solicitor-general Tushar Mehta who said forced religious conversions were rampant in tribal areas.
Mehta told the court some states had formulated their own laws to ban forcible conversions.
“There are instances where rice and wheat are given to people to convert to another religion,” Mehta submitted.
The bench said: “Everyone has freedom of religion but not through force or coercion”.
It posted the matter for further hearing to November 28, by when the Centre has to come up with its stand.