The Allahabad High Court on Monday rejected the Uttar Pradesh government’s plea to adjourn the hearing of petitions challenging its conversion ordinance till the ongoing hearing in the Supreme Court against the same ordinance. The Court will hold the final hearing in the pleas on January 25.
The case was heard by the division bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamsheri. Significantly, four separate applications were filed in the Allahabad High Court against the ordinance brought by the UP government to stop the incidents of love jihad.
One of these applications was filed by Saurabh Kumar, the second was filed on behalf of Ajit Singh Yadav of Badaun, Anand Malviya, the third retired government employee, and a victim of the fourth from Kanpur. In all the petitions, the ordinance was said to be unnecessary.
Advocate General Raghavendra Pratap Singh, on behalf of the State Government, informed the Court that the Supreme Court is also hearing this matter. Along with this, an application to transfer all the petitions from the State government and be heard together has also been filed in the Supreme Court. Therefore, the hearing should be adjourned till the application is finalized. On this, the High Court has said that the Supreme Court has issued a notice, but no interim order has been issued. Therefore, the hearing cannot be stayed.
The Advocate General told the Court that the application will be heard in the Supreme Court soon. Time was sought from the Court on this. On which, the High Court directed the petitions to be presented for final hearing at 2 pm on January 25.
Significantly, the UP government has already filed its reply in the Court on January 5. In response to the 102 pages, the ordinance has been declared necessary by the UP government. The State government said that in many places there was a threat to the law and order system due to the incidents of conversion. It was extremely important to bring such an ordinance to maintain law and order. According to the government, women will benefit the most from the conversion ordinance and they will not be oppressed.
In these petitions, it was contended that this is only for political gains. In this, a particular category can be targeted. The argument was also given that the ordinance is against the fundamental rights given to the people by the Constitution, so it should be repealed. It was also said on behalf of the petitioners that the ordinance can be brought only in an emergency, not under normal circumstances.