Allahabad High Court Raises Alarm on Conversions at Gatherings, Orders Ban


The Allahabad High Court has sparked controversy with a recent ruling, raising concerns about religious conversions at gatherings and ordering an immediate ban on such events. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal made the observation while dismissing the bail plea of Kailash, a man accused of converting a group of Hindus to Christianity.

Justice Agarwal expressed strong opinions, stating that these religious congregations pose a threat to India’s social fabric. He argued that allowing such conversions could lead to the “majority population being in a minority,” a claim likely to ignite debate.

The court further argued that these conversions violate Article 25 of the Indian Constitution. While the article guarantees freedom of religion, the judge interpreted it to not explicitly cover religious conversion.

The ruling also highlighted a concerning trend observed by the court: a rise in alleged unlawful conversions targeting disadvantaged communities, particularly Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST), in Uttar Pradesh. Justice Agarwal reportedly noted instances of such conversions happening at a “rampant pace” throughout the state.

The specific case involved Kailash, who was accused of luring villagers from his village in Hamirpur district to a gathering in Delhi. Authorities allege that Kailash played a key role in converting these villagers to Christianity. Kailash was booked under charges of kidnapping (Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code) and unlawful religious conversion under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021 (Section 3/5(1)). Considering the seriousness of the accusations, the court denied bail to Kailash.

This ruling is likely to be met with mixed reactions. While some may support the court’s attempt to curb alleged forced conversions, others may criticize it as an infringement on religious freedom. The legal interpretation of Article 25 and the claim about the majority becoming a minority are also likely to be debated. Regardless, the Allahabad High Court’s decision has thrust the issue of religious conversions in India into the spotlight.

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