The Allahabad High Court has issued notices to the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday, 18 December, asking the Yogi Adityanath government to file responses to the writ petitions challenging the ‘UP prohibition of unlawful conversion of religion ordinance 2020.’
The law has been challenged by petitioners who say that it is a narrative spun to undermine principles of pluralism and diversity in the society. The petition also alleges that the laws discriminate against women and interfaith couples, taking away their agency and are, therefore, bad in law and substance.
The petitioners allege that the law potentially suppresses an individual’s right to freedom of choice and right to freedom of religion and protection against discrimination.
That it violates Article 14 (Right to Equality), 15 (Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, etc), 21 (Right to life) and 25 (Freedom of conscience, etc) of the Constitution, according to Live Law.
The law was passed by the UP Governor in November this year under Article 213 of the Constitution which empowers the Governor to promulgate an ordinance under necessary, urgent circumstances. The petition alleges that there was no emergent ground to exercise this power, according to Live Law.
According to reports by Live Law, the bench of Justices Govind Mathur and Piyush Agrawal have asked the State to submit the counter affidavits by 4 January, and the matter will be heard next on 7 January.
The court, however, has not granted any stay order or interim relief. The petitioners, meanwhile have been granted the liberty to file a rejoinder affidavit by 6 January.
(With inputs from Live Law)