SC refuses to stay anti-conversion laws in UP, Uttarakhand

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to stay laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments concerning marriages based on religious conversion.

The apex court also issued a notice and asked the state governments to respond to the petition challenging “love jihad” laws within four weeks.

A three-judge headed by Chief Justice of India Sharad Arvind Bobde heard the petition filed by Vishal Thakre, an advocate.

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During the arguments, Pradeep Kumar Yadav, lawyer for the petitioner, said the whole society is affected by it. “The Madhya Pradesh, Haryana governments, according to media reports, are also bringing it (anti-conversion law),” Yadav said.

Responding to this, the CJI said that only Uttarakhand and UP governments have brought the laws.

The CJI asked Yadav to approach the HC to file his petition in their respective High Courts, saying “first you exercise your right under article 32 of the Indian Constitution and approach the respective High Courts of the states”.

“We are not saying that you have a bad case,” the CJI said.

The petition had challenged Uttar Pradesh Prohibition Of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018 and sought directions to authorities not to give effect to the UP Ordinance.

It said that the laws passed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are against “love Jihad” and sought to declare punishments as ultra virus and null and void, claiming they disturb the basic structure of the Constitution as laid down by the law.

The laws passed by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are against the public policy and society at large, the plea said.

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