The CJI-led panel will now hear arguments against forced religious conversions.

PETITIONS PENDING before the Supreme Court seeking measures to prevent forceful and fraudulent religious conversions will now be heard by a new Bench.

The case, which had been pending before a bench presided over by Justice M R Shah, would now be considered by a bench presided over by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud.

Monday’s case list indicates that the subject is included with petitions contesting laws prohibiting religion conversions in other states before the CJI-led Bench, which also includes Justices P S Narasimha and J B Parijawala.

The Bench of Justices Shah and C T Ravikumar had previously rejected challenges to the maintainability of Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay’s petition. The court referred to coerced religious conversions as a “serious issue” on the 9th of January, the penultimate day of hearings, and requested aid from Attorney General R Venkataramani.

On the same day, the court admonished the attorney for Tamil Nadu, who disputed the existence of fraudulent forced conversions in the state and requested the Bench to leave the problem to the legislature. The attorney said that the petitioner was a member of the BJP and that the petition was politically motivated.

Justice Shah reprimanded him, stating that the court had already decided to consider the matter. “You may have different causes for your agitation. Do not transform court procedures into anything else… We have no interest in state A or state B. We are concerned about the entire nation… If it occurs in your state, it is unfavourable. If not, that’s fine. Do not view it as an attack on a single state. “Don’t make it political,” he instructed the attorney.

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