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Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea For Direction To Centre To Consider Legislating Law Regulating Religious Conversion Along The Lines Of UP Love-Jihad law

Sparsh Upadhyay
28 Jan 2021 3:57 AM GMT
Allahabad High Court Dismisses Plea For Direction To Centre To Consider Legislating Law Regulating Religious Conversion Along The Lines Of  UP Love-Jihad law
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Courts have very limited role with regard to judicial legislation since neither the Courts can legislate nor they have any competence to issue directions to legislature to enact a law in a particular manner: Allahabad High Court

The Allahabad High Court last week dismissed a plea seeking direction for 'Union Of India Thru Secy. Home Affairs Ministry New Delhi' to consider legislating a law regulating the religious conversion on the pattern of the law legislated on the subject by the State of U.P. and other States. The Bench of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Manish Mathur was hearing the plea of...

The Allahabad High Court last week dismissed a plea seeking direction for 'Union Of India Thru Secy. Home Affairs Ministry New Delhi' to consider legislating a law regulating the religious conversion on the pattern of the law legislated on the subject by the State of U.P. and other States.

The Bench of Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Justice Manish Mathur was hearing the plea of 'Hindu Personal Law Board' (through its President Ashok Pandey) who prayed before the Court to issue a direction (as prayed for in the petition) to ameliorate the condition with regard to a particular sect or religion.

Contentions raised

The petitioner in person contended that he was only seeking a direction for UOI to consider legislating a law regulating religious conversion and no specific direction is being sought to Parliament or any State Legislature to enact any legislation.

It was further submitted that the plea only seeks consideration of petitioner's grievance particularly since all the laws giving criminality to any act or omission have been legislated by the Union and therefore, the law regulating religious conversion should also be made by Union of India.

Court's Observations

The Court quoted the Apex Court's Judgment in the case of Manoj Narula v. Union of India (2014) 9 SCC 1 and the Principle discussed therein (the Doctrine Of Constitutional Trust).

In this case, it was held by the Apex Court that it cannot be believed that a constitutional authority or functionary would not act in accordance with and within the scope of its powers as indicated in the Constitution of India.

The Court also noted that the Apex Court in the above-said Judgment had further ruled that,

"Courts have very limited role with regard to judicial legislation since neither the Courts can legislate nor they have any competence to issue directions to legislature to enact a law in a particular manner."

Further, the Court concluded by saying,

"No direction can be issued for enacting any legislation in any particular manner by High Courts under Article 226 of the Constitution of India."

Lastly, the Court said,

"So far as submission of petitioner in person is concerned that only a direction for consideration of petitioner's grievance has been made in the petition, the doctrine of constitutional trust also bars any grant of relief prayed for in the manner as envisaged in the petition."

Related News

The Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Anandiben Patel on 28th November promulgated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 (Uttar Pradesh Vidhi Viruddh Dharm Samparivartan Pratishedh Adhyadesh 2020).

UP Governor Promulgates Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020

On December 18, 2020, a Chief Justice led Division Bench of the High Court issued notices on a batch of PILs challenging the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, and had asked the UP Government to file a counter affidavit.

Thereafter, the UP Government filed a counter affidavit in response to a batch of PILs challenging its controversial Love-Jihad Ordinance.

In its reply, the Government has claimed that the Ordinance is aimed at preventing any form of unlawful conversion actuated by elements of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, etc.

"The Constitution of India abhors any form of forceful conversion particularly in matters of religion. Being a secular State it becomes the foremost duty of the State to protect its citizens from any kind of unlawful or forceful conversion so that the liberty of thought, faith, belief and worship as well as equality of status stands safeguarded thereby assuring the dignity of the individuals," the Government submitted.

Notably, the Governor of Madhya Pradesh, Anandiben Patel promulgated The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020. The ordinance has been published in the gazette notification (dated 09th January 2021).

Madhya Pradesh Governor Promulgates The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020

This law has several provisions that are similar to the ordinance issued by Uttar Pradesh Government.

Case title - Hindu Personal Law Board Thru Pres. Ashok Pandey (In Person) v. Union Of Bharat Thru Secy. Home Affairs Ministry New Delhi [P.I.L. CIVIL No. - 2084 of 2021]

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