Lavanya death case: Petition in SC seeks probe into suicide, stringent anti-conversion law

A Public Interest Litigation was filed in the Supreme Court seeking direction to investigate the root cause of the suicide of a young girl Lavanya and to issue direction to the Centre to enact a stringent Anti-Conversion Law immediately.
Supreme Court of India (ANI)
Supreme Court of India (ANI)

New Delhi

The petition was filed by advocate Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who sought appropriate direction to National Investigation Agency/Central Bureau of Investigation and/or National Human Right Commission/National Commission for Protection of Child Rights to investigate the root cause of the death of 17-year-old Lavanya, who committed suicide and died on January 19, 2022, in Thanjavur Tamil Nadu. 
Upadhyay, in his petition filed through advocate Ashwani Kumar Dubey, also sought a declaration that fraudulent religious conversion and religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits offends Articles 14, 21, 25 of the Constitution.
He also demanded to issue direction to Centre-States to take stringent steps to control fraudulent religious conversion and religious conversion by intimidation, threatening, deceivingly luring through gifts and monetary benefits. Alternately, the Court may be pleased to direct the Law Commission of India to prepare a Report as well as a Bill to control 'Deceitful Religious Conversion' within three months in spirit of Articles 14, 21 and 25, the lawyer urged. 
According to the petition Lavanya, a 12th standard student of a missionary school in Tamil Nadu committed suicide by ingesting pesticides and in her dying declaration, she stated that she was tortured and pressurized to convert to Christianity by the Missionary School. Thereafter, many people have taken to social media to demand justice for the young girl, said the petitioner added that Lavanya's untimely demise is a wake-up call. "It reminds people of evangelists imperialistic goals. Indeed, it reminds people of how an elaborate plan has been used to uproot Hinduism-Secularism through time. In fact, many more M Lavanyas have been compelled to take such drastic measures as a result of such coercive-persuasive tactics, " the petition said. 
The petitioner has also mentioned various incidents relating to the alleged illegal practice followed by the Missionary School. "Petitioner submits that conversion is a pan India problem. So, Centre must enact a Law and get it implemented throughout India, " the petition read.

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