Uttar Pradesh Governor Anandiben Patel has justified the state government’s law against religious conversion for the sole purpose of marriage. The Governor said that such laws don’t come without any thinking and there are reports that suggest the need for such moves.
“Whenever a Bill comes, it does not come just like that. There is a survey conducted that shows how many girls married, how many faced problems, how many girls came back, how many girls lodged complaints,” Patel said in an interview to The Indian Express.
The Governor further said that even parents come forward seeking arrests, alleging that the boy changed his name. “When such incidents are increasingly reported during a survey, in such a situation such a Bill is brought and is pursued. Women come to me with different issues and if required, I refer issues to the government. But there are not many complaints,” she said.
The Uttar Pradesh government of Yogi Adityanath has brought in an anti-conversion law to prevent religious conversion by allurement, coercion, force or any fraudulent means. The law makes conversion a non-bailable offence with up to 10 years of jail time. A similar law has been brought in by Madhya Pradesh and Uttarakhand as well. Haryana too is in the process of drafting an anti-conversion law.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court issued notices to the state governments of Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh seeking their response on a bunch of pleas challenging the constitutional validity of laws. It has, however, not stayed the laws but said it will examine the legal validity of both the laws. The Uttar Pradesh Anti-Conversion Ordinance was cleared by the Yogi Adityanath Cabinet in November and assent given by the Governor on November 28.