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Police cracking down on voluntary interfaith unions in Guj, UP

In Gujarat, the relationship between an interfaith couple was forcibly branded as a "love-jihad" case, and in UP a false case was filed against the husband

Sabrangindia 11 Sep 2021

interfaith marriage

Within a day, two cases have emerged of Muslim men being falsely accused for marrying Hindu women for "love jihad", after the couples approached the courts seeking relief. In Gujarat, the police forcibly invoked the anti-conversion law and input false allegations in the FIR. In Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, a false FIR under charges of kidnapping was allegedly against the man.

Gujarat

A couple in an interfaith relationship, falsely branded as a case of ‘love jihad’, have jointly approached the Gujarat High Court for quashing the FIR, filed allegedly by the wife against the husband under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021. The bench of Justice Ilesh J Vora has sought the state government’s response on the same.

The wife has categorically submitted before the court that the FIR was registered by the police on their own accord by bringing the ‘love jihad’ angle and stated that the FIR has grossly incorrect and untrue facts, particularly regarding the allegations of forceful conversion. The state had objected to this plea even though the wife has filed an affidavit to this effect and has submitted that she wishes to live with her husband and wants the FIR to be quashed.

In the plea for quashing the FIR, it has been clearly stated, that the wife went to the police to report on a marital discord but the police forcibly brought in the love jihad angle and put in allegations under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 or the newly amended anti-conversion law. According to LiveLaw, she has stated in her petition, “Certain religio-political groups intervened in the matter and communalized the said issue by bringing in the love jihad angle, also on account of the overzealousness of the police officers involved, facts and offences which were never mentioned or alleged by the informant came to be inserted in the FIR.” She has further stated that many allegations that were not made by her such as relating to unnatural sex, clicking of obscene pictures of hers and of forcible conversion were forcibly added by the police.

The Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the validity of some of its provisions is sub-judice before another bench of the High Court whereby the court has stayed the operation of certain provisions of the Act including Sections 3, 4, 4A to 4C, 5, 6, and 6A. Section 3 prohibits forcible conversion from one religion to another by use of force or by allurement or by fraudulent means, or by aiding a person to get married by allurement or by fraudulent means. Section 4, 4A to 4C prescribes punishment of imprisonment for unlawful conversion, declares marriages by unlawful conversion as void, and also deals with offences of organisations doing unlawful conversion. Section 5 penalises persons who have abetted the crime of forceful conversion and section 6 places the burden of proof on the accused.

The Gujarat high court order may be read here

Uttar Pradesh

While in the Gujarat case, the court is yet to come to a conclusion, the decision has been made by the Allahabad High Court. The couple jointly declared before the court that the girl had willingly left her paternal home, and her parent who was against her marriage, had filed the FIR. She also stated that she converted to Islam out of her own will.

The counsel for the complainant relied upon the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 to state that the conversion is in violation of the said ordinance as conversion for contracting marriage is prohibited and hence the marriage does not have the sanctity of law.

The court considered the joint declaration of the couple and observed that both were adults at the time of marriage and clarified that the validity of the marriage is not in question before the court. Yet, the court remarked, “The issue is about the life and liberty of two individuals in choosing a partner or their right to freedom of choice as to with whom they would like to live.”

The court also cited Salamat Ansari & others vs. State of UP & others 2020 SCC Online All 1382 where the high court had dealt with a similar question and had observed that the right to choose a partner irrespective of caste, creed or religion, is inhered under right to life and personal liberty, an integral part of the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It was further observed that an individual on attaining majority, is statutorily conferred with the right to choose a partner, which if denied would not only affect his/her human right, but also his/her right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The court thus held that no offence is made out against the husband as the woman has come up with the categorical stand that she had left her home with the petitioner no.2 willingly and is living with him as a married woman. The court, thus quashed the FIR and the proceedings against the petitioner no.2

The Allahabad high court order may be read here:

Related:

Anti-conversion law will not apply to inter-faith marriages unless there is force, fraud, allurement: Gujarat HC

Why is iD dosa batter giving communal trolls indigestion?

HW: Video of minor Hindu boy being lynched, shared as case of ‘Love Jihad’

Police cracking down on voluntary interfaith unions in Guj, UP

In Gujarat, the relationship between an interfaith couple was forcibly branded as a "love-jihad" case, and in UP a false case was filed against the husband

interfaith marriage

Within a day, two cases have emerged of Muslim men being falsely accused for marrying Hindu women for "love jihad", after the couples approached the courts seeking relief. In Gujarat, the police forcibly invoked the anti-conversion law and input false allegations in the FIR. In Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh, a false FIR under charges of kidnapping was allegedly against the man.

Gujarat

A couple in an interfaith relationship, falsely branded as a case of ‘love jihad’, have jointly approached the Gujarat High Court for quashing the FIR, filed allegedly by the wife against the husband under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021. The bench of Justice Ilesh J Vora has sought the state government’s response on the same.

The wife has categorically submitted before the court that the FIR was registered by the police on their own accord by bringing the ‘love jihad’ angle and stated that the FIR has grossly incorrect and untrue facts, particularly regarding the allegations of forceful conversion. The state had objected to this plea even though the wife has filed an affidavit to this effect and has submitted that she wishes to live with her husband and wants the FIR to be quashed.

In the plea for quashing the FIR, it has been clearly stated, that the wife went to the police to report on a marital discord but the police forcibly brought in the love jihad angle and put in allegations under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 or the newly amended anti-conversion law. According to LiveLaw, she has stated in her petition, “Certain religio-political groups intervened in the matter and communalized the said issue by bringing in the love jihad angle, also on account of the overzealousness of the police officers involved, facts and offences which were never mentioned or alleged by the informant came to be inserted in the FIR.” She has further stated that many allegations that were not made by her such as relating to unnatural sex, clicking of obscene pictures of hers and of forcible conversion were forcibly added by the police.

The Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 and the validity of some of its provisions is sub-judice before another bench of the High Court whereby the court has stayed the operation of certain provisions of the Act including Sections 3, 4, 4A to 4C, 5, 6, and 6A. Section 3 prohibits forcible conversion from one religion to another by use of force or by allurement or by fraudulent means, or by aiding a person to get married by allurement or by fraudulent means. Section 4, 4A to 4C prescribes punishment of imprisonment for unlawful conversion, declares marriages by unlawful conversion as void, and also deals with offences of organisations doing unlawful conversion. Section 5 penalises persons who have abetted the crime of forceful conversion and section 6 places the burden of proof on the accused.

The Gujarat high court order may be read here

Uttar Pradesh

While in the Gujarat case, the court is yet to come to a conclusion, the decision has been made by the Allahabad High Court. The couple jointly declared before the court that the girl had willingly left her paternal home, and her parent who was against her marriage, had filed the FIR. She also stated that she converted to Islam out of her own will.

The counsel for the complainant relied upon the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 to state that the conversion is in violation of the said ordinance as conversion for contracting marriage is prohibited and hence the marriage does not have the sanctity of law.

The court considered the joint declaration of the couple and observed that both were adults at the time of marriage and clarified that the validity of the marriage is not in question before the court. Yet, the court remarked, “The issue is about the life and liberty of two individuals in choosing a partner or their right to freedom of choice as to with whom they would like to live.”

The court also cited Salamat Ansari & others vs. State of UP & others 2020 SCC Online All 1382 where the high court had dealt with a similar question and had observed that the right to choose a partner irrespective of caste, creed or religion, is inhered under right to life and personal liberty, an integral part of the fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. It was further observed that an individual on attaining majority, is statutorily conferred with the right to choose a partner, which if denied would not only affect his/her human right, but also his/her right to life and personal liberty guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution of India.

The court thus held that no offence is made out against the husband as the woman has come up with the categorical stand that she had left her home with the petitioner no.2 willingly and is living with him as a married woman. The court, thus quashed the FIR and the proceedings against the petitioner no.2

The Allahabad high court order may be read here:

Related:

Anti-conversion law will not apply to inter-faith marriages unless there is force, fraud, allurement: Gujarat HC

Why is iD dosa batter giving communal trolls indigestion?

HW: Video of minor Hindu boy being lynched, shared as case of ‘Love Jihad’

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