The Supreme Court of India has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to obtain information from 8 states.
The Supreme Court of India has directed the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) to obtain information from 8 states, in order to verify the claims of Christian groups that denounced around 200 attacks within the first five months of 2022.
The request came after the Evangelical Fellowship of India (EFI), the Archbishop of Bangalore, the National Solidarity Forum, and the United Christian Forum filed a petition asking for protection in the states of Bihar, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The government recently responded that the Christian accusations were “based on half-baked and self-serving facts and self-serving articles and reports…based upon mere conjecture”.
“The majority of the incidents alleged as Christian persecution in these reports were either false or wrongfully projected. In some cases, incidents of purely criminal nature and arising out of personal issues, have been categorised as violence targeting Christians”, they added.
Furthermore, the federal interior ministry says “there appears to be some hidden oblique agenda in filing such deceptive petitions, creating unrest throughout the country and perhaps for getting assistance from outside the country to meddle with internal affairs of our nation”.
However, Supreme Court justices DY Chandrachud and Hima Kohli ruled at a hearing on 1 September, that the MHA must provide information such as preliminary police reports, status of investigations, arrests made and charges filed.
The verification process must be completed within two months “in view of the gravity of the allegations and file an affidavit before it”.
They stressed that the ruling “merely wanted the allegations in the petitions to be verified and it had not formed any opinion on the veracity of the allegations".
The top court also directed the petitioners to provide a detailed breakdown of the incidents of violence to the office of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta within four weeks.
The hearing will be on 6 December.