Court cannot interfere when woman marries as per wishes, converts: HC

The issue before the bench, headed by justice Sanjib Banerjee, pertained to a petition by the father of a 19-year-old Hindu woman, who got married to a Muslim man and also converted to Islam.
Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By HT Correspondent
PUBLISHED ON DEC 22, 2020 04:46 AM IST

There is nothing a court can do if an adult woman marries according to her wishes and also decides to convert to some other religion, observed the Calcutta high court on Monday as it dealt with a matter relating to an interfaith marriage.

The issue before the bench, headed by justice Sanjib Banerjee, pertained to a petition by the father of a 19-year-old Hindu woman, who got married to a Muslim man and also converted to Islam.

While the father alleged pressure on his daughter, the woman recorded her statement before a magistrate, stating that she married a person of her choice and would not want to go back to her parents.

As she was about to meet a district judge to record her statement finally, the father submitted in the HC that he feared his daughter might not feel free to testify. He pleaded that before she meets the judge, his apprehensions regarding pressure on his daughter should be allayed.

The bench accepted the father’s plea and directed for a meeting between the woman and the additional public prosecutor of the HC on December 23 before she finally records her statement. But at the same time, the bench, in its order, said: “If an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there can be no interference in the matter.”

The case comes amid controversy over a stringent anti-conversion law in UP which bans conversion by fraud, coercion, enticement or marriage.

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