Indian Supreme Court says police may arrest anyone accused of proselytization

.- The Supreme Court of India has issued a ruling which may have serious impact on religious freedom in the country, The Times of India reports.  

In its ruling, issued on Friday, the court seems to strip away further protection for persons who may, in one way or another, attempt to convince others of the truth of their religion.  

India has come under recent criticism from several Christian leaders, including the Pope himself, for its laws preventing religious freedom. India has several anti-proselytization laws while some Indian states also have laws making religious conversions illegal.

The Supreme Court ruling states that police do not need a prior sanction from a court or any other authority before issuing a FIR (First Information Report) and arresting clergy members or anyone accused of attempting to gain converts to their faith.

Previously it was presumed that an article in the Criminal Procedure Code protected religious leaders from possible frequent harassment by police in a section which states that “no court shall take cognizance" of an offence involving inducement for conversion unless the prosecution has obtained previous sanction of the "Central government or of the state government or of the district magistrate."

The court’s ruling, however, said that there is a difference between the court “taking cognizance,” and the police making an arrest for a reported case of proselytization.

According to the Times of India, the court’s opinion, written by Justice G P Mathur, states that there is nothing which prevents the arrest of an accused offender, the investigation by police, the registration of a criminal complaint, or the bringing of charges against the accused.  The arrest and incarceration does not amount to a court “taking cognizance” of the offence, for which alone prior sanction is required, the opinion said.

The ruling overturns the decision of a district High Court, which quashed a case against Christian pastor, P Raju.  Raju was accused of proselytization, but his case was quashed by the High Court on the grounds that prior sanction of the central government, the state government, or the district magistrate had not been obtained.  The Supreme Court ruling states that the High Court erred in quashing the case.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

3D Church mapping
3D Church mapping
#PAUSEforPeace Initiative
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family

Liturgical Calendar

July 30, 2014

Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 15: 10, 16-21
Gospel:: Mt 13: 44-46

Saint of the Day

St. Peter Chrysologus »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:44-46


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: