NGO Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) has moved the Supreme Court challenging so-called love jihad laws passed by Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh government.
The petition has been filed by Advocate Tanima Kishore on behalf of the NGO which had also challenged the constitutional validity of similar legislation in Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh, viz Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 and the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.
The petitioner said the Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019 and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020 have also been passed and requested the Top Court for the addition of the State of Himachal Pradesh and the State of Madhya Pradesh as Respondents to challenge the constitutional validity of Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019 and the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, respectively.
According to the petition, the Himachal Pradesh Act was notified one month after the Uttar Pradesh Ordinance was promulgated, the petitioner said the decision was not based on any substantial statistics of alleged love jihad instances.
The enforcement of the Madhya Pradesh Ordinance comes in the face of harassment of young vulnerable couples who are deprived of their right to marry any individual on their free will, the petitioner alleged.
The petition further states that Indian citizens enjoy the Right to Privacy as a fundamental right but the Acts and the Ordinances are unconstitutional as they attempt to control the life of the residents of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh. Love Jihad has played over the years to divide the country with no official numbers or evidence of forced conversions and that the fears of rising ‘love jihad’ cases have been “baseless” from the very start.
In light of the above facts, the petitioner has requested for an amendment in the application filed seeking stay of the conversion laws in the states of Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.