A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the constitutional validity of the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, passed by the Government of Madhya Pradesh.
The petition filed by Advocate-On-Record Aldanish Rein states that the ordinance passed by the Governor bypassing the legislative process of Assembly, is not only arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution of India but is also a fraud on the Constitution itself.
He further states that “…the impugned Ordinance in transgressing upon the freedom to marry, freedom to profess, practice and propagate any religion, and right to privacy, has guillotined the individuals’ personal autonomy, equality under the law, personal liberty and the freedom of choice and expression, in blatant and flagrant violation of the fundamental rights of the individuals as guaranteed under Articles 14, 19, 21 and 25 of the Constitution of India, 1950.”
He points out that the impugned ordinance has adopted its basic structure from the The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and The Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 who’s constitutional validity is already under challenge before the Supreme Court.
The petition says;
“…it is unfortunate that the political and communal gimmick of ‘Love Jihad,’ which was earlier solely confined to the ‘Us vs Them’ narrative espoused by fake-propaganda machines (eg. ‘WhatsApp University,’ shady social media outlets, etc.), political rallies and societal fringes, has manifested itself as a legislation.”
“..The impugned Ordinance promulgated by the Respondents is a text book example of blatant abuse of the powers vested under Article 213 of the Constitution. The action of the Respondents in promulgating ordinances, bypassing the legislative process of Assembly, is not only arbitrary and violative of Article 14 of the Constitution but is also a fraud on the Constitution itself.”
The petitioner claims that there is no data available with any government agency or department on ‘love jihad’ and that it was not a fit case for issuing an ordinance. The ordinance was made in haste and with absolute disregard to the impact that it could have on the fundamental rights of affected parties.
The petitioner has cited various case laws pointing out the seemingly illegal provisions that are laid down in the ordinance.