‘Potent Tool for Bad Elements’: PIL in SC Against Love Jihad Laws
The plea states that these new laws “disturb the basic structure of the Constitution”.
A writ petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the new “love jihad” laws passed in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand”.
The PIL by lawyers Vishal Thakre, Abhay Singh Yadav and law researcher Pranvesh, has challenged the constitutionality of the the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act of 2018, reported LiveLaw.
Stating that these new laws “disturb the basic structure of the Constitution”, the petition, according to LiveLaw prays that these laws be declared null and void.
According to Bar and Bench, the petition further states:
“This ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to falsely implicate anyone and there are probabilities of falsely implicating persons who are not involved in any such acts (contemplated under the ordinance) and it will result in grave injustice.”
It also points out that the founding fathers wanted the "Constitution to be an adaptable document rather than a rigid framework for governance."
“They wanted it (the Constitution) to be a flexible document which can adjust or adapt itself according to the changing situations.”
The petition also, according to Bar and Bench, points out that if there is an inconsistency between laws made by Parliament and laws made by the Legislatures of State, the Law enacted/passed by the Centre will prevail.
The Uttar Pradesh Governor on Saturday, 28 November, promulgated the controversial UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, that ostensibly deals with ‘unlawful conversions’ to tackle what several states have called ‘love jihad’.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet had cleared the ordinance on 24 November.
The ordinance had proposed for a jail term of 1-5 years with a Rs 15,000 penalty for forceful religious conversion. For conversions of minors and women of SC/SC community, there will be jail term of 3-10 years with Rs 25,000 penalty.
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