Jamait Ulama-I-Hind Moves Supreme Court Challenging The Validity Of Anti Conversion Laws
Jamait Ulama-I-Hind has moved the Supreme Court challenging the constitutionality of the anti-conversion law passed by Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
The petition has been filed in the form of a PIL (public interest litigation) contesting the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021, the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018, the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019, the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2021, and the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021.
The anti-conversion legislations make concealing religious identity for marriage a criminal offence. In addition to that, prior information to the district magistrate is required to be made before conversion is done.
The Jamait’s plea contended that the obligation to reveal one’s religion constitutes a violation of their right to express their beliefs as the right to express belief also includes to not to express the same.
Furthermore, they have argued that the legislation entitles the family members to lodge an FIR (first information report), thereby allowing the family members to harass the converts and therefore there is anticipation that the act can be misused by disgruntled family members.
They have also argued that the interfaith couples frequently experience the worst treatment from the community, to the point where families commit "honour killings", executing their own relatives who dared to wed outside of their faith.
It was also said that the majority of the time, even when a person changes on his or her own free will, the convert's family members object to the conversion.
Several other aspects of the legislations have also been challenged in the PIL.
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