According to local media reports in India, the Karnataka government has put on hold a proposal to survey official and unofficial churches and 'Bible societies'. The government is waiting for the verdict of the state High Court on a public interest suit filed in this regard.
A division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi was hearing the petition filed by Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Karnataka.
However, the government will now have to file a statement of objection.
The petition has challenged the communication issued by the state government seeking information related to churches in Karnataka. The PIL claimed the government move "amounts to discrimination and persecution of the minority community."
Government officers explained that the survey is not feasible as it goes against the Constitution.
The government is also waiting to see how the High Court responds to the PIL filed against surveying churches.
Earlier, on October 13, the Committee on Welfare of Backward Classes and Minorities discussed the survey to check alleged forced conversions and asked the Deputy Commissioners to carry out the exercise.
It was recommended that the Department of Minorities Welfare gather information about religious conversions in coordination with the Police Department, Revenue Department, Social Welfare Department, district commissioners, and chief executive officers.
An order has been issued to make sure authorised churches are not troubled while getting information about religious conversions.
The letter stated that additional information could be gathered from the Revenue, Social Welfare, Internal Administration, and Law departments and submitted within 30 days.
Christian religious leaders and progressive thinkers held press conferences across the state to condemn the move of the government to conduct surveys of churches.
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