NGO seeks inclusion of 2 more states in plea against UP, Uttarakhand conversion laws

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NGO seeks inclusion of 2 more states in plea against UP

NGO Citizens for Peace and Justice has approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to include laws enacted by Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh regulating religious conversion for marriages in its pending petition challenging similar laws by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

The application sought the court’s leave to amend the petition so as to also challenge the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019 and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

It contended that “the impugned Acts and Ordinances impose obligations of prior intimation, registration, scrutiny, and police enquiries as a precondition to marriage, which are utterly unconscionable, and indeed obnoxious and unsustainable under our Constitutional scheme”.

On February 3, the Supreme Court had declined to entertain a few other petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand saying it would like the state High Courts, where similar petitions are pending, to decide it first.

“We are on a question of jurisdiction. The Allahabad and Uttarakhand High Courts are hearing this. We will have the benefit of the HC judgment”, a bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde said.

The court pointed out that for the same reason, it had earlier refused to entertain a petition filed by the UP government too seeking transfer of all such pending cases to the SC.

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