Delhi HC grants protection to interfaith couple from UP
The Delhi high court on Wednesday granted protection to an interfaith couple from Uttar Pradesh, who fled to the national Capital fearing persecution, days after the new UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, commonly known as the ‘love jihad’ law, was passed.
The couple has alleged that they were forced to leave their parental houses due to reports of harassment on interfaith couples. Justice Anu Malhotra, while granting protection, also directed the Delhi government to provide them a safe house in accordance with an earlier order of the Supreme Court.
According to the plea, the 21-year-old Hindu woman met the 25-year-old Muslim man at a coaching centre in Shahjahanpur. They fell in love and wanted to get married under the Special Marriage Act, as they did not intend to convert. However, the parents and relatives of the woman opposed their alliance. The plea, filed through advocates Soutik Banerjee and Aakarsh Kamra, alleged that the woman’s parents and relatives tortured her physically and mentally. Fearing harassment, the couple reached Delhi on December 11 and contacted an NGO.
Appearing for them, advocate Vrinda Grover said the couple sought protection from the Delhi government’s Social Welfare Department. However, they were turned away, which “jeopardises the right to life, liberty and privacy”.