Anti-conversion laws: Supreme Court to examine legal validity, issues notice to UP, Uttrakhand

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Updated: Jan 06, 2021 12:41 PM

Today, the apex court heard the petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020 and Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act-2018.

Supreme Court of India

 

The Supreme Court today issued notices to the state governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand over their laws against religious conversion. The court will examine the legal validity of law passed by UP and the ordinance promulgated by Uttarakhand. Today, the apex court heard the petitions challenging the Constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance-2020 and Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act-2018.

Former Supreme Court Justice Madan B Lokur recently criticised the new anti-conversion law passed by UP. He said the law cannot be sustained as it contained many defects from legal and Constitutional point of view. “The Constitution says Ordinance can be passed if there is a need for immediate action. What is the need for immediate action to pass it when the Vidhan Sabha is not in session? Absolutely nothing. There is no way that this Ordinance can be sustained,” Lokur was quoted as saying by PTI.

The Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance envisages that no person shall convert, either directly or indirectly from one religion to another by use or practice of misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means or by marriage nor shall any person abet, convince or conspire such conversion.

The Allahabad High Court too had sought the response of the UP government on a petition challenging the constitutional validity of the Ordinance.

(With agency inputs)

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