Love jihad: Two petitions in Supreme Court challenge Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand anti-conversion laws

Two petitions were registered in the Supreme Court on Thursday challenging the constitutional validity of the recently formed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of the Unlawful Conversion of the Religion Ordinance 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018. The petitions argued that the laws created in the name of love jihad were declared null and void because the very foundation of the Constitution was disturbed.

The petitioner argued that the real risk of this controversial so-called “love jihad” legislation lies not in its apparent textual basis, which, prima facie, seems fairly harmless. Instead, in its uncertainty lies its threat. While the range within constitutional margins has been cleverly limited, the statute employs the use of open-textured phrases such as excessive control, allurement, and intimidation.

Consequently, the petitioner asked the court to direct the State Government in the nature of Mandamus to declare the newly made law null and void and should give order to the Central Government to pass any legislation on religion conversion or to enact a new law on freedom of religion and conscience.

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