SC Asks MHA To Seek Reports From 8 States On Alleged Attacks On Christian Community Members

SC Asks MHA To Seek Reports From 8 States On Alleged Attacks On Christian Community Members

The Supreme Court on Thursday ordered Ministry of Home Affairs (HMA) to obtain verification reports from several states including Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Karnataka, and Jharkhand on the steps taken on alleged attacks on Christian institutions and priests in the recent past, news agency PTI repoted.

The top court has said that the Chief Secretaries of the aforementioned states should ensure to give information regarding registration of FIRs, status of the investigation, arrests made, and charge sheets filed in the alleged cases.

The court has granted a two months time to these states to conduct the exercise of verification and an affidavit is filed before the bench.

Reponding to the PIL filed over the recent attacks on Christian institutions in these states, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli said an attack on individuals does not mean it is an attack on the community. However, the bench noted that states need to verify the claims of any such incident if it is made in the public interest litigation.

The apex court’s order came on a PIL filed by Rev. Dr. Peter Machado of National Solidarity Forum, Rev. Vijayesh Lal of Evangelical Fellowship of India, and others claiming violence against the members of the Christian community in various states of the country.

Meanwhile, responding to the SC bench, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for government, claimed that majority of the alleged cases mentioned in the PIL are false. Mehta said that upon verification it has been found that many of these cases are based on “self-serving articles” published on a web portal.

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“There is no merit in the plea alleging increasing attacks on Christians in India and the petitioner has ‘resorted to falsehood and self-serving documents’ along with press reports which have misreported such incidents,” Mehta said, according to Bar & Bench.

Mehta also urged Supreme Court not pass an order in such PILs, warning that it may lead to opening of Pandora’s box.

Reacting to Mehta’s remark, SC said that it is only concerned that its earlier verdicts on the appointment of nodal officers for reporting and monitoring of such incidents are complied with by the States.