Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind files intervention application in pleas challenging ‘love jihad’ laws in SC

Its counsel stated that the reason behind the intervention was that “a large number of Muslims are being harassed all across the country”; the matter will be heard by the court after two weeks

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NH Web Desk

The Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has sought to intervene in the plea filed before the Supreme Court challenging laws regulating religious conversion passed by various states.

Advocate Ejaz Maqbool, appearing for Jamiat, stated today that "a large number of Muslims are being harassed all across the country," and that this was the reason why the Muslim rights body has sought intervention in the case.

The Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian stated that it would hear the intervention application.

The matter will now be heard after two weeks after the counsel sought an adjournment.

The Court also acceded to the request by Citizens for Justice and Peace to amend its plea to include challenges to the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019 and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, in addition to the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand law.

The application in the Supreme Court stated that with such Acts and Ordinances in place, only residents of these four states will be subject to such inquiry if and when they decide to convert from one faith to another, or even if an inter-faith couple merely decides to get married, with or without conversion.

The plea highlighted that the Himachal Pradesh law has added several provisions dealing with “conversion by marriage”, and by Sections 7 and 9, reintroduced "even more obnoxious and unconstitutional provisions of prior notice, enquiry and investigation than were contained in the struck down provisions of the 2006 Act."

The petition pointed out that the Himachal Pradesh Act casts a reverse burden of proof upon the person converted, and makes the offences, including the “offence” of getting married, cognizable and non-bailable.

The Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which regulates religious conversion and inter-faith marriage, came into force on January 9.

The laws in force in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh had come into force before that.

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