Supreme Court Refuses to Uphold “Love Jihad” Laws in UP, Uttarakhand; trouble notice – india news
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to suspend laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to punish marriages based on religious conversion. However, it issued notices to the two state governments on petitions challenging the love jihad ordinance in Uttar Pradesh and the 2018 Freedom of Religion Act in Uttarakhand.
The bench of three judges headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde also issued a notice to the Center on petitions filed by lawyer Vishal Thakre and Teesta Setalvad NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace. The petitioners have argued that the laws were being misused to harass people who indulged in interfaith marriages.
The first PIL presented by advocates Vishal Thakre and Abhay Singh Yadav and Allahabad-based law researcher Pranvesh read: “The ordinance passed by the state of Uttar Pradesh and the law passed by Uttarakhand go against public policy. and society in general and violate the basic principles structure of the Constitution ”, he noted that similar legislation is being contemplated in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana and Assam.
The Uttar Pradesh ordinance entitled “Uttar Pradesh Illegal Conversion of Religion Prohibition Ordinance, 2020”, which was enacted on November 24, prohibits religious conversions by marriage, coercion, deception or seduction. The law prescribes a jail term ranging from one to five years, in addition to fines of up to 15,000 rupees for those convicted under it. The jail term is up to 10 years and a fine of up to Rs 25,000 for conversions of women who belong to registered caste or tribal communities or who are minors.
The law was enacted about a month after Uttar Pradesh Prime Minister Yogi Adityanath promised to end “love jihad,” a term used by right-wing activists to describe the marital relations between Muslim men and Hindu women.
“This ordinance can become a powerful tool in the hands of the evil elements of society to … falsely implicate anyone … there is a chance of falsely implicating people who are not involved in such acts and it would be a grave injustice if this Ordinance is approved, ”the petition said.
Top advocate CU Singh, who appeared for the Setalvad NGO, called for a suspension of the UP ordinance, saying: “Unbridled crowds are moving to remove people from marriage ceremonies. This law requires prior notification of marriages and the burden of proof is on the individual to show that they have not been converted for marriage. These provisions are abhorrent, particularly when the Supreme Court in 2018 held that the state cannot interfere with an individual’s right to marry as upheld in the Shafin Jahan case. “
The bank, which also includes judges AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, said: “Can a law be suspended if the prosecution is oppressive or false? This is the problem when it comes directly to the Supreme Court ”.
Although it initially handled the case, the court was of the opinion that the matter should go to higher court. A similar challenge is pending before the Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts. Howverm Singh told the high court that this is not just a matter that concerns these states, as Himachal Pradesh also passed a similar law in 2019.
The matter was published four weeks later.