New Delhi: Two writ petitions filed in the Supreme Court of India, challenging the anti-conversion ordinance passed by the Uttar Pradesh government, were withdrawn after a bench headed by the Chief Justice SA Bobde observed that the court was not inclined to deal with the matter when the High Court is already considering it.
Though the advocates for the petitioners pleaded the bench to admit the petitions citing the gravity of the matter and that other states such as Madhya Pradesh follow the suit of the UP government, the CJI said "we are not denying the importance of the matter. We are on the question of jurisdiction."
Following the observation, the bench allowed the withdrawal of the petitions and granted the liberty to approach high court.
The bench was considering the petitions filed by Vishal Thakre and People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL).
The Allahabad High Court is scheduled to hear the petitions challenging the controversial ordinance on February 24.
The sinister laws promulgated in November has criminalised conversion by marriage. The ordinance allegedly restricts conversions in the garb of regulating religion and marriage. The ordinance is also criticised as an arbitrary tool of the state to intrude into the personal arena of marriage.
The UP government has maintained that the ordinance does not particularly target any religions. However, Hindustan Times reported that 79 of 86 booked under the UP ordinance are Muslims and all of them are accused of similar offences – allegedly enticing a woman and forcing her to convert to Islam.