Right to religion includes right to convert, plea in SC seeks setting aside the Allahabad HC order

Right to religion includes right to convert, plea in SC seeks setting aside the Allahabad HC order

New Delhi, Nov 5 (IANS) A plea has been moved in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking setting aside of an Allahabad High Court order, which held that conversions just for the sake of marriage are invalid. The plea said the Constitution provides for right to freedom of religion and also right to convert into any religion as many times as one wants to with no tabs.

The plea filed by advocate Aldanish Rein said the High Court order has laid a wrong precedent that the inter-religious marriages cannot be solemnised at the instance of conversion of religion by either of the partner. In the order passed on September 23, the High Court had declined police protection to a married couple in a case where a Muslim girl had converted to Hinduism and married a Hindu boy.

“The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh citing the above order of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad raised the issue of “love jihad”, and invoked “Ram naam satya” – a Hindu funeral chant, thereby threatening couples of Inter-religious Marriage”, said the plea.

The plea said the High Court order has left the poor couple at the mercy of the offending family members, the police, the vigilantes and the hate monger religious associations.

The plea has argued that the Constitution provides for right to freedom of religion and the same includes that a person has the right to choose and profess any religion or no religion at all. “It also includes the right to convert into any religion as many times as one wants to with no tabs. Choice of religion is a personal choice of a person. If the Court does not allow a person to freely choose his religion, it amounts to a violation of his or her fundamental right”, contended the plea.

The plea emphasised that neither the State nor the law can dictate a choice of partners or limit the free ability of every person to decide on these matters. The petitioner has also sought police protection for the couple and urged the top court to transfer all the matters pending in various High Courts challenging provisions of the Special Marriage Act 1954 before it to bring uniformity in the Act for the entire country.

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