Supreme Court waits for High Courts to decide first regarding Conversion Law Plea

The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain petitions that challenged the constitutional validity of religious conversion laws that have been bought by the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand Government saying it would want the High Courts to decide first as similar petitions are pending there.

A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Subramanian said that it is a question of jurisdiction and the Allahabad and Uttarakhand courts are hearing this. The bench said that they would have the benefit of the HC judgment as well. They further added that it is for this reason that it earlier rejected a plea to transfer all the pending matters of the Uttar Pradesh Government to the Supreme Court.

Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh representing the petitioner said that innocent people are being targeted by these laws and that Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat are also about similar kinds of laws.

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The CJI confirmed that they are not disputing the importance of the matter in any way but are just letting the HC complete hearing it.

The same bench on January 6th had agreed to examine the validity of Love Jihad Laws and ordinances which was given by the states governed by the BJP in order to curb the alleged conversion of girls through interfaith marriages. Those who are found guilty under these laws are given a 10-year jail sentence and are termed a non-bailable offence.

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The SC asked the petitioners to approach the concerned High Court and allowed them to withdraw their plea. The petitioners included Advocate Vishal Thakre and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties who had challenged the Freedom of Religion Act of Uttarkhand, and the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Ordinance 2020.

The plea by Thakre and the others contended that the laws were curtails the fundamental rights of the people of India and go against the Basic Structure of the Constitution laid down by the law.

The plea says that the Act and the ordinance are against the Special Marriage Act 1954 and would create fear in the society as people who are not actually into any such activity can be falsely implicated.


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