Big blow to UP govt’s love jihad law; Allahabad HC says “right to choose a partner of choice a fundamental right’

In a big blow to Yogi Adityanath government’s proposed law against Love Jihad “Anti- Conversion Law” Allahabad High Court held that the judgement which held ‘Religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable’ is not good law, Live Law reported on Monday.

“Right to live with a person of his/her choice irrespective of religion professed by them, is intrinsic to right to life and personal liberty,” court said.

Court further observed: “We fail to understand that if the law permits two persons even of the same sex to live together peacefully then neither any individual nor a family nor even State can have objection to relationship of two major individuals who out of their own free will are living together.”

A Division Bench of Justice Vivek Agarwal and Pankaj Naqvi held that the judgements in Noor Jahan and Priyanshi as not laying good law.

The division bench strikes down single judge orders that held conversion for marriage was illegal.

On 30 October 2020, Allahabad High Court has dismissed a writ petition seeking police protection filed by a married couple and said “Religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable.”

In October 30’s judgement, the judge referred to a 2014 judgment in Noor Jahan Begum @ Anjali Mishra & Anr. v. State of U.P. & Ors., in which it was observed that conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable.

“None of these judgements dealt with the issue of life and liberty of two matured individuals in choosing a partner or their right to freedom of choice as to with whom they would like to live,” while observing two past judgements court said.

“We hold the judgements in Noor Jahan and Priyanshi as not laying good law,” the court further ruled.

“To disregard the choice of a person who is of the age of majority would not only be antithetic to the freedom of choice of a grown up individual but would also be a threat to the concept of unity in diversity,” court said.

Court said: “We do not see X and Y as Hindu and Muslim, rather as two grown up individuals who out of their own free will and choice are living together peacefully and happily over a year.”

Earlier, during a rally in Jaunpur, an alert for Love Jihad was given by Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Hindu nationalist leader Yogi Adityanath. He said, “I warn those who conceal identity and play with our sisters’ respect. If you don’t mend your ways your ‘Ram naam satya’ (chant related with Hindu funerals) journey will begin.”