File a common plea seeking transfer of cases from HCs: SC on anti-conversion laws - New Delhi News
by IANS | Updated Jan 16, 2023
A bench, headed by Chief Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and comprising Justices P.S. Narasimha and J.B. Pardiwala, noted that the matter is pending before various high courts, and asked senior lawyer Kapil Sibal, appearing for one of the parties, to file a common transfer petition before it.
The bench, in its order, recorded that a transfer petition will be filed for tagging and transferring of all cases before this court.
During the hearing, senior advocate Dushyant Dave pointed out that one of the petitions filed by advocate Ashwini Upadhyay casts aspersions on Muslims and Christians. As senior advocate Arvind Datar, representing Upadhyay, submitted that those alleged content would not be pressed, the bench asked him to file a formal plea for deletion of the "objectionable portions".
Earlier, a bench headed by Justice M.R. Shah heard Upadhyay's plea against alleged forceful religious conversions. It had orally observed that religious conversion was a serious issue which should not be given a political colour and sought the assistance of the Attorney General in the matter.
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta challenged the locus of activist Teesta Setalvad's NGO 'Citizens for Justice and Peace'. Senior advocate C.U. Singh, counsel for the NGO, opposed Mehta's submissions.
Attorney General R. Venkataramani submitted that the high court should be permitted to hear the challenge to the local anti-conversion laws, the bench replied that it is not transferring the cases and his submissions will be heard in this context. However, counsel, representing one of the petitioners, insisted that challenges to anti-conversion laws should be transferred to the apex court.
Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh governments have filed separate petitions challenging the interim orders of the respective high courts staying certain provisions of their law on conversion. The apex court has scheduled the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
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