HC directs TN to file counter on plea to stop forced conversions in schools

Justice R Mahadevan while sitting on the bench with Justice S Ananthi passed the direction to the State government on accepting the maintainability of a petition filed by Chennai-based advocate B Jagannath. The petitioner sought directions to the State School Education department to stop the religious conversion activities in the schools.
HC directs TN to file counter on plea to stop forced conversions in schools
Madras High Court

CHENNAI: A vacation division bench of Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to file a counter within four weeks to appraise the court about the actions taken by the State government to prevent the illegal forced religious conversions in the government-run and government aided schools.

Justice R Mahadevan while sitting on the bench with Justice S Ananthi passed the direction to the State government on accepting the maintainability of a petition filed by Chennai-based advocate B Jagannath.

The petitioner sought directions to the State School Education department to stop the religious conversion activities in the schools.

When the matter was taken up for hearing on Thursday, the bench asked the petitioner to file additional materials before the court since the Additional Advocate General J Ravindran questioned the bona fide nature and maintainability of the petition.

“There were two alleged instances of conversions occurred in the state. Of them, the first one is about the suicide of a school Lavanya in Thanjavur and the case has been transferred to CBI. In the second case, suspension action was taken against a teacher. After these, none of such incidents had occurred in the state and no aggrieved persons had approached the court, ” the AAG submitted.

Responding to this, the petitioner submitted additional affidavits stating that a private satellite TV Channel, through its scoop had exposed five such forced conversion incidents in the state. On recording the submissions, the judge allowed the petition and directed the state to file its counter within four weeks.

It could be recalled Justice R Mahadevan observed that what is the harm in framing a set of guidelines to stop the religious conversions in the schools.

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