Madhya Pradesh: Supreme Court refuses to entertain plea against MP law on religious conversions

The Supreme Court Friday refused to entertain a plea challenging the validity of the controversial Madhya Pradesh ordinance regulating conversions due to inter-faith marriages.

A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde asked petitioner lawyer Vishal Thakre to go to the Madhya Pradesh High Court in the proceedings conducted through video conferencing.

"Approach the Madhya Pradesh High Court. We would like to have the views of the high court. We have sent similar matters back to the high court," said the bench which also comprised Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.

The plea said the Madhya Pradesh law, which followed a similar ordinance made by Uttar Pradesh in the name of 'Love Jihad', infringed a person's right to privacy and freedom of choice leading to the violations of fundamental rights under Articles 14, 19(1)(a) and 21 of the Constitution.

The top court had also refused to hear some other pleas on the issue in past. However, the court, on January 6, had issued notice to Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand government on the pleas of NGO 'Citizens for Justice and Peace' and others against their laws on religious conversions.

Then on February 17, the top permitted the NGO to also implead Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as parties to its petition challenging the controversial laws.

It has also allowed Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind to become a party to the petition on the ground that a large number of Muslims are being harassed under these laws across the country.

Laws under challenge included the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 which regulate religious conversions of interfaith marriages.

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