A bench of the Supreme Court comprising Justices RF Nariman, BR Gaval and Hrishikesh Roy held that persons above 18 years of age are free to choose their religion.
A petition was filed seeking directions from the court to the Centre and States to control black magic and religious conversions. The court dismissed the petition as withdrawn and even refused to entertain the plea made by the counsel for the petitioner for permission to make representation to the government and the law commission.
The petition filed by Ashwin Upadhyay also sought directions to ascertain the feasibility of appointing a committee to enact a Conversion of Religion Act to check the abuse of religion. According to him, conversions made by hook or by crook offended Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution and were also against the principles of secularism which is an integral part of our Constitution. He stated that the Centre and the State governments failed to control the menace of black magic, superstition and deceitful conversion.
The Supreme Court however dismissed the petition while observing that there is no reason why a person above 18 cannot be allowed to choose his religion.