Allahabad High Court Warns of Demographic Shift Due to Religious Conversions, Denies Bail to Accused

Feature and Cover Allahabad High Court Warns of Demographic Shift Due to Religious Conversions Denies Bail to Accused

The Allahabad High Court expressed concerns today over the ongoing trend of religious conversions during religious congregations, warning that this could lead to the majority population of the country eventually becoming a minority. Justice Rohit Ranjan Agarwal’s bench emphasized that such gatherings where conversions take place should be stopped immediately to prevent this potential demographic shift.

“If this process is allowed to be carried out, the majority population of this country would be in minority one day, and such religious congregation should be immediately stopped where the conversion is taking place and changing religion of citizen of India,” the Court stated.

The Court also highlighted that these conversions are contrary to Article 25 of the Indian Constitution, which ensures the freedom of conscience and the right to freely profess, practice, and propagate religion but does not sanction religious conversions. “Article 25 of the Constitution of India provides for Freedom of conscience and free profession, practice, and propagation of religion, but it does not provide for conversion from one faith to another faith…The word ‘Propagation’ means to promote, but it does not mean to convert any person from his religion to another religion,” the Court clarified.

Significantly, the bench noted a worrying trend of illegal conversions, particularly targeting individuals from Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and other economically weaker sections, to Christianity, which is happening extensively across Uttar Pradesh. This observation was made while rejecting the bail application of Kailash, who is accused under Section 365 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and Sections 3/5(1) of the U.P. Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021. Kailash allegedly took villagers to a social gathering in Delhi where they were converted to Christianity.

The case against Kailash includes accusations that he promised the informant that her brother, who was mentally ill, would be treated and returned to the village within a week. Instead, he was converted to Christianity. The First Information Report (FIR) against Kailash alleges that he has converted many people to Christianity.

In his defense, the applicant’s counsel argued that the informant’s brother, Ramphal, was not converted to Christianity but merely attended a gathering focused on Christian faith and well-being. The defense also questioned the reliability of statements from various individuals recorded during the investigation at this preliminary stage and noted that Sonu Paster, who organized the gathering, had already been granted bail.

Despite these arguments, the Court, recognizing the gravity of the accusations, denied Kailash’s bail plea. The Court considered the statements of the alleged victims and witnesses recorded by the Investigating Officer, which indicated that Kailash had been involved in taking people to attend the religious congregation in New Delhi, where they were converted to Christianity.

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