Himachal high court has held that religious conversion is a matter of faith and personal thought of an individual and state government can not encroach upon the privacy of any citizen.
Division bench comprising justice Deepak Gupta and justice Rajiv Sharma observed that if a person changes his religion or belief of his own wish then the State has no role to play.
Action can only be taken if persons are made to change their religion due to "force", "fraud" or "inducement".
The high court supported the decision through section 4 and rules 3 and 5 of Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006.
Section 4 of the Himachal Pradesh freedom of religion act lays that a person intending to convert from one religion to another should provide a notice to the district magistrate of the district concerned thirty days prior to his conversion. Then the district magistrate sets an enquiry in to motion by an appropriate agency.
Rule 3 provides that any person domiciled in the State, intending to convert his religion, will have to provide a notice to the district magistrate of the District where he permanently resides, before such a conversion.
Rule 5 lays down that if the district magistrate is of the opinion that the conversion has taken place or is likely to take place through use of force or inducement or without requisite notice, he shall refer the case along with all material adduced in the course of the enquiry to the police for registration of a case and its investigation.
The prosecution sanction can be given by the district magistrate or another authority authorized by him not below the rank of sub divisional officer.