The Supreme Court declined to entertain petitions challenging the constitutional validity of the religious conversion laws enacted by Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
A plea was filed by Senior Advocate Vishal Thakre and People’s Union for Civil Liberties, challenging the Uttarakhand (Freedom of Religion Act, 2018) and the Uttar Pradesh (Prohibition Of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020).
Senior Advocate Sanjay Parikh stated that these laws target innocent people and Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat were also about to bring similar laws.
The plea stated that these laws curtail Fundamental Rights and disturbs the basic structure of the Constitution.
It further stated that these laws are also violative of the Special Marriage Act,1954 and will create fear in the society.
A Bench consisting of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, stated that there is a question of jurisdiction, similar petitions are pending before the High Courts and those have to be decided first. It was stated that the importance of the matter is not disputed but the benefit has to be given first to the High Courts.
The Bench allowed petitioners to withdraw their pleas and directed them to approach the High Court.