The Supreme Court on Monday asked Bharatiya Janata Party leader Ashwini Upadhyay to remove derogatory remarks about minority religions from a petition seeking a halt to forced conversions, Live Law reported.

A bench comprising Justices MR Shah and S Ravindra Bhat passed the directions after senior advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for some Christian organisations seeking to intervene in the matter, told the court that the BJP leader’s petition includes some distasteful allegations against other religions.

“These allegations that certain religions are perpetuating rapes and murders, these averments should not be on your lordships’ file,” Dave told the court. “It sends terrible signals to the minority communities in the country, that the Supreme Court is allowing this to go uncontested.”

The division bench then directed senior advocate Arvind Datar, who was representing Upadhyay, to remove any such derogatory remarks about minority religions from the public interest litigation. “You personally look into it,” Justice Shah said.

The court adjourned the case to January 9.

In his plea, Upadhyay has claimed that the Hindu population in India had declined from 86% in 2001 to 79% in 2011. The petition said that if religious conversions were to continue at this rate, “Hindus shall gradually become a minority” in India.

However, census data shows that the proportion of Hindus dropped only marginally from 80.5% of the population in 2001 to 79.8% in 2011.

Further, data from the National Family Health Survey released in May showed that the fertility rate among Muslims reported the sharpest decline among all religious communities over the past two decade.