The Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to stay the ordinance promulgated by the Uttar Pradesh government regulating inter-faith marriages and religious conversion. It also declined to stay similar laws which are in force in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.
A three-judge bench headed by CJI SA Bobde, however, agreed to examine the validity of the ordinance and the laws. The bench also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian issued notices to Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh governments.
The top court was hearing petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 and Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 which regulate religious conversion and inter-faith marriages.
The petitions by a Delhi based lawyer and Mumbai based Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) under Article 32 of the Constitution stated that the ordinance and law are violative of Articles 21 and 25 as it empowers the State to suppress an individual’s personal liberty and the freedom to practice religion of one’s choice.