Allahabad HC says no conversion certificate needed for interfaith marriage

Justice Kumar gave the verdict ruling that the insistence on production of conversion certificate will amount to breaching the couples' fundamental rights to life, liberty, and privacy.

Prayagraj: The Allahabad High Court has ruled that marriage registrars do not have to ask interfaith couples to bring their faith conversion certificates from district authorities.

A bench of Justice Suneet Kumar gave the ruling also asking the district marriage registrars to register forthwith the marriages of interfaith couples.

The bench gave the verdict on a bunch of 17 petitions by as many interfaith couples who complained of marriage registrars’ refusing to register their marriages in absence of their faith conversion certificates from district magistrates. The petitioners included an Uttar Pradesh resident, Mayra alias Vaishnavi Vilas Shirshikar.

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Justice Kumar gave the verdict ruling that the insistence on production of conversion certificate will amount to breaching the couples’ fundamental rights to life, liberty, and privacy.

The state and private respondents are restrained from interfering with the life, liberty, and privacy of the petitioners to live as man and woman, and the police authorities of the respective districts shall ensure the safety of the petitioners and provide protection to them if demanded or needed, the judge said in his order on Thursday.

Petitioners had claimed in their petitions that they were majors and one of the parties to the marriage had converted to the religion of his or her partner.

Standing Counsel appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government had argued that as conversions were for the marriage, interfaith marriages cannot be registered without the district authority ascertaining if the conversion was voluntary and was not induced by coercion, allurement, and threat.

Counsel for the petitioner, however, had contended that even taking a case that approval of the authority was not taken before the conversion, the petitioners still have the right to live together as majors.

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