Missionaries of Charity Case: Anticipatory Bail Hearing of Nuns Adjourned

Missionaries LAW INSIDER

Mitali Palnitkar

Published On: December 30, 2021 at 13:21 IST

On December 29, 2021 the hearing of Anticipatory Bail of two nuns associated with Missionaries of Charity based in Kolkata, was Adjourned by the Vadodara Court. The Nuns were booked under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003. They were Allegedly “hurting Hindu religious sentiments” and “luring young girls towards Christianity” in the shelter home run by the organization. The next Hearing is on December 31, 2021.

The District Government Pleader (DGP) who appeared for Vadodara Police was directed by the Additional Sessions Judge RT Panchal to discuss and clarify with the Advocate General of Gujarat the use of Sections 3 & 4 of the Act. This was due to the Stay put on Sections 3, 4, 4A, 4B, 4C, 5, 6 and 6A by the Division Bench of Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav of Gujarat High Court on August 20, 2021.

The DGP of Vadodara Anil Desai stated that the Stay was on Sections which were related to forceful conversion through interfaith marriage but the other grounds for forceful conversion existed and therefore, the police case was on sound ground. The applicability of the Sections would be discussed with the Counsel and reply would be filed before the next Hearing.

In the FIR, a woman was named as Victim of forceful conversion by the organization, had filed an Affidavit stating that she was not converted forcefully and that she married with her will and consent. She also claimed that she had joined as a volunteer and did not live in the shelter.

The Anticipatory Bail was denied on various grounds by the Police such as forceful conversion, serving of non-vegetarian food to girls in the shelter, and forcing the girls to wear a holy cross pendant.

On December 12, 2021, the FIR was lodged by Makarpura Police on the Compaint of Mayank Trivedi (District Social Defence Officer). He had visited the Shelter home along with Chairman of Child Welfare Committee. The Committee complained that a Hindu girl was forced to marry into Christian family as per Christian traditions.

The institution was booked under Section 295(A) IPC for deliberate and malicious acts to outrage feelings of any class by insulting religious beliefs and Section 298 IPC for intentionally uttering words to hurt religious feelings of a person.

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