Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has issued notice on a plea challenging the Constitutional validity of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.
A bench led by acting Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari on Monday clubbed the plea with other pending petitions and posted them for hearing after three weeks.
The court already has in pendency two public interest litigation petitions filed against the conversion law. Now all these petitions are to be heard by the court in the next hearing.
The plea was moved by one Anand Malviya (petitioner) through advocate Shadan Farasat and Talha Abdul Rahman.
Malviya, a retired government servant who worked as Senior Statistical Officer at the National Sample Survey office of Government of India, contended that the law is against the secular character of the Constitution and infringes upon freedom of choice and freedom of religion.
He submitted that the law in its essence seeks to negate the present constitutional position, and forces individuals belonging to different faiths to seek 'permission' from the State before marrying and, as a logical extension, having children together.
The Act is a thinly disguised attempt at fanning the flames of communalism, and seeks to divide society on ethnic and religious lines, the plea said.
The petitioner also cited an instance in which a Special Investigation Team (SIT) was constituted in Kanpur, after cases of inter-religious marriages had surfaced but found no large-scale conspiracy.
"The SIT did not find any large-scale conspiracy of 'love jihad'. Ironically, the footnote text in the enactment as gazetted refers to the impugned ordinance as 'Love Jihad'. It is a matter of record that the SIT probe did not find any solid proof that the accused worked in an organised manner as part of a conspiracy," the petition stated.
The matter will be heard again on October 5 along with other connected petitions.
(Based on IANS feed)