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Yogi's UP Becomes First State To Bring Anti- 'Love Jihad' Law As Guv Promulgates Ordinance

On Saturday, UP Governor Anandiben Patel has promulgated 'Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020' to prevent cases of 'Love-Jihad'

Yogi

On Saturday, Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has promulgated 'Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020' days after it was passed by the cabinet led by Yogi Adityanath. Several other BJP-ruled states like Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Assam have also prepared drafts to pass similar laws. Yogi Adityanath had announced during UP by-poll campaign that his administration will bring a law that prevents forced conversion for marriage, terming it to be 'Love-Jihad'. 

READ | UP's 'Love Jihad' Law Explained: What Is It And How Is Different From Other States' Laws

Key features of 'Love-Jihad' law:

  • Marriage for the sheer purpose of converting a girl's religion will be declared null and void, with a punishment up to 10 years.
  • Forceful religious conversion, including through marriage, punishable with a jail term of 1-5 years with Rs 15,000 penalty. If the woman is a minor or belongs to Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe, the jail term will be between 3-10 years and the penalty upto Rs 25,000. 
  • Mass conversions punishable with jail term is of 3-10 years and fine of Rs. 50,000 on the organisations conducting it.
  • If someone wants to convert their religion after marriage, they will have to submit an application to the District Magistrate (DM) two months in advance

READ | Assam govt to enact anti-Love Jihad law after re-election in 2021: Himanta Biswa Sarma

What do the courts say?

Prior to Yogi Adityanath's proclamation, the  Allahabad  High Court dismissed a writ petition filed by a married couple seeking stay on their families from interfering in their marriage. The court observed that the Muslim-born woman converted to Hindu in June and then married as per Hindu rituals in July, clearly revealing that the conversion has taken place only for the purpose of marriage. Ruling that conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable, the High Court said it will not interfere in the matter.

But days later, another Allahabad HC bench reiterated that a person’s right to live with people of their choice, irrespective of religion, is intrinsic to their right to life and personal liberty guaranteed by the Constitution. Terming the earlier verdicts as incorrect, it said 'they do not lay down good law'. Similarly, Delhi High Court, on Thursday, ruled that an adult/major girl is "free to reside wherever and with whoever she wishes to reside", while hearing a plea filed by the family of a girl, claiming she was 'kidnapped', which was refuted by the woman.

READ | Haryana & MP to follow footsteps of UP govt, anti-Love Jihad law to be enacted soon

READ | UP Law minister justifies state govt's ordinance against Love Jihad; claims 'many cases'

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