SC junks petition seeking stay on ‘love jihad’ laws
The Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to entertain a petition seeking stay on anti-conversion laws passed by Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh to regulate interfaith marriages, and asked the petitioner to approach the high court.
This was the third petition filed in the top court challenging the contentious laws. On January 6, the top court issued notice on two separate petitions challenging the validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020, and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018.
On Wednesday, NGO Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) sought to expand the ambit of consideration of the court to a third law in Himachal Pradesh, known as the HP Freedom of Religion Act, 2019.
A three-judge bench, headed by Chief Justice of India (CJI) SA Bobde, refused to issue notice on the PUCL plea, but gave the NGO the liberty to approach high courts.
“Senior counsel Sanjay Parikh for the petitioners seeks permission to withdraw the writ petition with liberty to approach the high court. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty as prayed for,” said the bench. The pleas come at a time the laws have stoked controversy, especially over the issue of love jihad -- a term used by right-wing groups to describe relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women.