Chapter

Acts of Bad Faith

A.G. Noorani and South Asia Human Rights Documentation Centre

in Challenges to Civil Rights Guarantees in India

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780198074144
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080823 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198074144.003.0007
Acts of Bad Faith

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Conversions conducted by coercive or violent means violate the right to freedom of religion enshrined in Article 25 of the Indian Constitution and in various human rights instruments. In addition to freedom of religion, India's anti-conversion laws raise serious concerns about a range of rights enshrined in international law, including freedom of expression, the right to equality, and freedom from discrimination. These laws also threaten to curtail the right of minorities under Article 25 to ‘freely profess, practice and propagate religion’. This chapter discusses the legislative history and current status of anti-conversion laws in various states of India, flaws in current anti-conversion legislation, the use of the terms ‘allurement’ and ‘inducement’ in various anti-conversion laws, the 1977 Supreme Court judgment in Rev. Stainislaus v. State of Madhya Pradesh, the concept of ‘public order’, and the principles of secularism and religious tolerance.

Keywords: anti-conversion laws; freedom of religion; Supreme Court; international law; freedom of expression; freedom from discrimination; secularism; public order; religious tolerance

Chapter.  11540 words. 

Subjects: Human Rights and Immigration

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