Allahabad High Court denied protection to eight interfaith couples in different orders between 10 to 16 January citing their non-compliance to the Uttar Pradesh Anti-Conversion Law.
The said law was passed in 2021 by the Yogi Adityanath-led government. It prohibits religious conversions by misrepresentation, force, fraud, undue influence, coercion and allurement.
In the context of interfaith marriages, the relevant clause is that it makes forced religious conversion a non-bailable offence and provides for up to 10 years’ incarceration for using marriage to coerce someone into conversion.
While the Allahabad HC order didn't specify how these couples do not comply with the UP Anti-Conversion Law, it granted them an option to file fresh writ petitions after solemnising their marriages as per the due legal procedure.
Of these eight interfaith couples, five had Muslim men marrying Hindu women and three had Hindu men marrying Muslim women, The New Indian Express reported.
The couples had sought the HC's direction for their protection and non-interference in their matrimonial lives. However, Justice Saral Srivastava dismissed the writ petitions saying the anti-conversion law had not been followed.
The said law has proven effective in punishing those who trap women of another religion by faking their identity. One such example is a three years old case where Mainuddin married a woman in temple introducing himself as Mannu Yadav.
The law became popular as well as controversial for being known as an 'anti-Love Jihad' law. However, the provisions of this law are religion-neutral.
Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.
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