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Person above 18 years free to choose religion: Supreme Court

Person above 18 years free to choose religion: Supreme Court

Recently, during the hearing of a case, the Supreme Court has said that a person above the age of 18 years is free to choose his religion. The Supreme Court gave this statement while refusing to hear a petition related to black magic and forced conversion.

Petitioner’s argument:

  • This petition was filed by advocate AshwiniUpadhyay. The petition stated that a law is needed to prevent forcible conversion and the use of black magic for this.
  • The victims of such conversions come from the afflicted and poor sections, mostly socially and economically backward class people, especially those belonging to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
  • The petition said that the practice of superstition, black magic and illegal conversion in this way violates Articles 14, 21 and 25 of the Constitution.

Comment of the Court:

  • A bench of Justices RF Nariman, Justice BR Gavai and Justice Hrishikesh Roy, while commenting on the plea, said that anyone over the age of 18 has the right to choose his religion, and the constitution of the country gives them these rights.
  • Religious faith is a part of the fundamental right to privacy. Article 25 of the constitution gives freedom to conscience and to freely practice, conduct and propagate religion.
  • Every citizen is the ultimate decision-maker in choosing the religion of their choice and choosing a life-partner of their choice. The court cannot pass judgment on a person’s choice regarding religion or life partner.
  • The decision of the Constitution Bench has described ‘right to privacy’ as ‘right to life, dignity and liberty’, and said that it does not violate any of its rights.
  • On this petition filed under Article 32, the Court said that, this petition is just ‘Publicity Interest Litigation’, if it is not withdrawn, it will be fined.

Source- Indian Express

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