?Take conversion cases seriously? -Orissa High Court
By Debasis Tripathy in Cuttack
Taking a serious note of the conversion activities across the state, the Orissa High Court directed the state government to take immediate steps in such cases. The division bench, comprising of Chief Justice, Sujeet Barman Roy and Justice Madan Mohan Das, directed the state government, superintendents of police and all the district magistrates to take ?serious steps and actions, as per the law, where allegations about conversion are being made?. ?The police administration and the district administration should not remain silent on the sensitive issue of conversion in their respective jurisdictions. They need not wait for the procedural allegations rather they should take a serious note of that immediately?, ordered the High Court.
In this historic judgment, the court made it apparent that ?all the complaints regarding this issue will be considered FIRs and the administration must file chargesheet without any delay?.
The Hon?ble Court while responding to a PIL, filed by Ananta Kumar and 268 other villagers from 19 villages of Gajapati district, issued a notice to the state government directing it to appear within two weeks. In the PIL, the petitioners alleged that the district administrations concerned are acting as pro-Christians and do not respond to the repeated allegations made by the locals against the forcible conversion. Taking the allegations seriously the court ordered the strict implementation of provisions of the Orissa Freedom of Religion Act (OFRA).
Shri Gouri Prashad Rath, the state general secretary of VHP, hailed the verdict describing it as the most-needed one.