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Why not guidelines to prevent conversion: Madras High Court

A division bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and S. Ananthi made the oral observation when a petition by advocate B. Jagannath came up for hearing
Madras High Court .
Madras High Court .
File photo

PTI   |   Chennai   |   Published 06.05.22, 02:11 AM

Madras High Court on Thursday wondered why it should not direct the Tamil Nadu government to frame guidelines to prevent religious conversion in schools.

A division bench of Justices R. Mahadevan and S. Ananthi made the oral observation when a petition by Chennai-based advocate B. Jagannath came up for hearing.

The government said it would not hesitate to take serious action against the perpetrators of such conversions but insisted the petition was not maintainable.

The petition prayed for a direction to the government to frame effective guidelines and take all steps necessary, including corrective measures, to prohibit, prevent and ban proselytisation and forced religious conversions in government and government-aided schools and other educational institutions.

The petitioner cited a recent incident in Thanjavur district where Lavanya, a school student, ended her life allegedly over being pressured to convert to Christianity. The court had ordered a CBI probe.

The petitioner also claimed that in a government school in Kanyakumari district a student was allegedly forced to kneel down for not acceding to the demand for conversion. Jagannath sought firm steps against conversions.

Justice Mahadevan asked what would be the harm in directing the government to frame guidelines to stop religious conversion in schools. There is a right to profess any religion but not to convert forcibly, the judge added.

The bench will hear the case in detail on Friday.



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