The Conversion Agenda

"Freedom to convert" is counterproductive as a generalized doctrine. It fails to come to terms with the complex interrelationships between self and society that make the concept of individual choice meaningful. Hence, religious conversion undermines, and in extremes would dissolve, that individual autonomy and human freedom.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Seizure of publicity materials of Benny Hinn stayed

Wednesday, January 19 2005 19:53 Hrs (IST) - World Time -

Bangalore: Karnataka High Court today (Jan 19, 2005) granted interim stay on order of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) directing issue of search warrant for seizure of publicity materials pertaining to controversial American evangelist Benny Hinn's three-day programme commencing in Bangalore from Friday (Jan 21, 2005).

Admitting a writ petition filed by Gul Kripalani, National Chairman of "Festival of Blessings: Pray for India" programme of Hinn, the Court passed interim order that the January 13 order of the CMM be stayed pending disposal of the writ petition on merit.

Justice N Kumar also ordered that the interim order is confined to the complaint under section 153A and 295A of the Indian Penal Code.

According to the petitioner, a private complaint had been filed by Manjunath Swamy before the Magistrate praying for the seizure, and the Magistrate on January 13 ordered for the search and seizure and directed the J C Nagar police to investigate and report to it by January 20.

Challenging the CMM's order, the petitioner contended that the Magistrate had no powers to order seizure under the provisions of the IPC and sought for setting aside the order and quash the investigation.

The Judge after hearing the counsels for the parties, passed the interim order of stay, and observed that in case of an offence under sections 153A and 295A where public interest in involved, it is for the Government of the day which is under obligation to maintain public harmony, law and order to take note of the publication and act in accordance with Section 96 to issue the notification.

The provisions of the IPC empowers the State Government to issue notification to ban the publications and seize them.

The Judge adjourned further hearing of the petition.

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