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Anti Conversion Laws of 5 States Challenged before the Supreme Court

  • Posted on January 7, 2023
  • News
  • By Akta Yadav
Anti Conversion Laws :-
A PIL (public interest ligitation) petition has been filed before the Supreme Court on 5th January 2023 (Thursday) questioning the validity of anti conversion laws from five states since they are being used very frequently to harass inter- religious couples. The petition was filed by Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind, which is an organization comprising Islamic scholars representing the Deobandi School of thought. Which Anti Conversion Laws were Questioned? The five anti conversion laws that will be examined by the Supreme Court in this case are as follows:
  1. Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021
  2. Himachal Pradesh Freedom Of Religion Act, 2019
  3. Uttar Pradesh Prohibition Of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Act, 2021
  4. Madhya Pradesh Freedom Of Religion Act, 2021
  5. Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018
Anti Conversion Laws Anti Conversion Laws Arguments from the Petitioners
  1. The petitioner has pointed out that in the State of UP itself, soon after the anti conversion law was passed, a huge rise was seen in the number of cases reflecting religious strife and many inter- faith couples were called into question.
  2. It was also pointed out that all of the anti conversion laws force individuals to disclose their religion and this cannot be permitted by law.
  3. Another strong point put across by the petitioner is that the anti conversion laws cause “undue influence” to the citizens of the country and their free will is hampered.
  4. The right to choose any faith and marry with free consent is hampered.
  5. Inter- faith couples are falsely implicated in criminal cases only to harass them.
Other Actions of the Supreme Court regarding Anti Conversion laws The Supreme Court by a bench led by Chief Justice DY Chandrachud expressed that the Court would look into the matter whether all petitions filed in different States and High Courts would be transferred to itself. The MP Government also applied to the Supreme Court for staying the order of the MP High Court which had declared the anti conversion law of MP as unconstitutional. The MP High Court had said the following lines: Anti Conversion Laws Anti Conversion Laws “Right to marry a person of choice is held to be integral to Article 21 of the Constitution. In K S Puttaswamy (supra), the nine-judge bench has drawn the curtains on this aspect by holding that family, marriage, procreation and sexual reorientation are all integral to the dignity of the individual”. The Supreme Court, however, has not validated this judgment of the High Court and put a stay on this order. It is yet to give a detailed judgment on the same.  
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Akta Yadav

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