Indian court asks Gujarat to explain curbs on conversions
AHMEDABAD: The top court in the riot-torn Indian state of Gujarat on Wednesday asked for clarification from the Hindu-nationalist provincial government on a controversial law restricting religious conversions.
The Gujarat High Court acted after a complaint from a Christian group that claimed the Freedom of Religion Act passed by the state assembly in March violated the Indian constitution’s protections of the right to worship. The court ordered the state’s advocate general to appear Friday to defend the law, under which authorities must approve conversion ceremonies.
Samson Christian, a leader of the All India Christian Council, which took the matter to court, said the law was “discriminatory” as it would apply only to Christians.
But the province’s home minister, Amit Shah, said it was “premature to term the law discriminatory,” as the administration was still finalizing details that would not be set for eight to 10 days. —AFP