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PIL filed against anti-conversion law in UP

PIL filed against anti-conversion law in UP

UP Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Image credit: PTI

Prayagraj (Uttar Pradesh): A Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has challenged the constitutional validity of the state's ordinance against religious conversions.

The Allahabad High Court is yet to admit the plea, which seeks to declare the law as 'ultra vires of the Constitution'.

Advocate Saurabh Kumar has moved the High Court stating the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 as both morally and constitutionally invalid.

Besides, the petitioner has requested the court to direct the authorities not to take any coercive action in pursuance of the ordinance.

According to the petition, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had on October 31, 2020 stated that his government would bring a law against 'love jihad'.

Love Jihad is a term used to discredit marriages between the Muslim men and Hindu women, calling them as part of a conspiracy to promote conversion of the Hindu women.

In his statement, the Chief Minister had referred to a single bench judgment of the Allahabad high court in a case observing religious conversion just for the sake of marriage was invalid.

A few days later, the petitioner pointed out, a division bench of the high court overruled the single bench verdict.

The division bench held that the right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them is intrinsic to the right to life and personal liberty.

The division bench observed so, holding the single bench judgment as 'not good in law'.

These provisions give the state policing powers over a citizen's choice of life partner or religion and are thus positioned against the fundamental rights to individual autonomy, privacy, human dignity and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life and personal liberty), it has been submitted.

IANS report with edits

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