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'Love Jihad Laws' Are A Grave Assault On Personal Liberty: Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind Moves SC Seeking Impleadment In Plea Challenging UP & Uttarakhand Laws

Sanya Talwar
6 Jan 2021 1:21 PM GMT
Love Jihad Laws Are A Grave Assault On Personal Liberty: Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind Moves SC Seeking Impleadment In Plea Challenging UP & Uttarakhand Laws
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An impleadment application has been filed to add Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind as joined party the petition challenging the Constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as the "Impugned Ordinance") and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018. [Vishal Thakra & Ors. V. Union of India]Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind has...

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An impleadment application has been filed to add Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind as joined party the petition challenging the Constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 (hereinafter referred to as the "Impugned Ordinance") and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018. [Vishal Thakra & Ors. V. Union of India]

Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind has stated that the impugned ordinance in question attempts to regulate a personal decision of each human being by encroaching upon an Individual's choice to convert to a religion of his/her choice. This, the plea states is a a grave assault on personal liberty of an individual and is violative of Article 21.

It is stated that Section 2(a) of the Act makes it a criminal offence to convert a person by offering him/her "allurement" which is defined in the Act as offer of any temptation in the form of:-
i. Any gift, gratification, easy money or material benefit either in cash or kind;
ii. Employment, free education in reputed school run by any religious body; or
iii. Better lifestyle, divine displeasure or otherwise.

Adding that the definition of Allurement is very broad in terms of the Act, it means that even if a person belonging one religion, say Islam gifts a non-muslim, a book concerning the teachings of Islam and the person who receives it decides to convert to Islam, allurement would be said to have taken place, the plea states.

Adding that though the Impugned Ordinance, seeks to address the mischief of forcible conversion, the plea states that it provides that "reconversion" to a person's previous religion is not illegal, even if it is vitiated by fraud, force, allurement, misrepresentation and so on.

Further, it is stated that the Ordinance reverses the rule of burden of proof in criminal law.

"That several times in cases of interfaith marriages, a person converts to embrace the faith of their spouse. In our nation, interfaith couples often bear the brunt of being ostracized from the community, so much so that the families engage in the crime of "honour killing", thereby murdering their very own kith and kin, who have dared to marry outside their faith. Thus, in majority of cases, even if a person converts out of his/her own free will, the family members of the convert object to such conversion."
- Jamiat-Ulama-I-Hind to SC

Further, while extrapolating Section 8, the plea states that the person who desires to convert has to give a declaration at least 60 days in advance, while the person who performs the conversion ceremony has to give one month's advance notice. The applicant also delves into Justice K.S. Puttaswamy and Ors. vs. Union of India (UOI) and Ors to substantiate its averment of upholding right to privacy as a fundamental right and that it is abrogated in the current context.

"It is submitted that such a provision not only invades into the right of privacy but also risks the security of those persons whose families are opposing the conversion"

The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice on the petitions challenging the laws made by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand in the name of 'love jihad' against religious conversions for the sake of marriages.

The bench however declined to stay the provisions of the laws which require prior permission for religious conversions for marriage.

Click Here To Download Petition

[Read Petition]




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