The right to convert people is not included in the freedom of religion: Gujarat in SC

New Delhi, Dec. 4  The Gujarat government has informed the Supreme Court that the right to practice one’s religion freely does not include the right to convert others, and it has asked the high court to lift a stay on a state law provision mandating the district magistrate’s prior approval for conversion through marriage.

The Gujarat High Court stayed the operation of Section 5 of the state government’s Freedom of Religion Act of 2003 by orders issued on August 19 and August 26, 2021.

The state government claimed in its affidavit that it had filed an application to have the HC stay lifted in  order to put the provisions against religious conversions in Gujarat by coercion, allurement, or fraudulent means into effect. This was in response to a PIL brought by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay.