Religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable
Priyanshi Vs State of UP
WRIT - C No. - 14288 of 2020
About/from the judgment:
The High Court has dismissed a writ petition seeking police protection filed by a married couple.
This is after the Court noted that the girl was a Muslim by birth and she has converted her religion to Hinduism, just a month before the marriage was solemnized.
This clearly reveals that the conversion has taken place only for the purpose of marriage, said the Court. 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.
Taking note of this, the Court dismissed the writ petition saying that it is not inclined to interfere in the matter under Article 226 of Constitution of India.
In Noor Jahan Begum, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed a batch of Writ Petitions which were filed praying for protection as a married couple as they had tied the knot after the girls got their religion converted from Hindu to Islam and then performed the Nikah. The issue considered in the said case was "Whether conversion of religion of a Hindu girl at the instance of a Muslim boy, without any knowledge of Islam or faith and belief in Islam and merely for the purpose of Marriage (Nikah) is valid?"
Answering the question in negative and reiterating the Supreme Court's stand in the case of Lily Thomas v. Union of India, the Court observed, "A conversion of religion by an individual to Islam can be said to be bonafide if he/she is major and of sound mind and embraces Islam by his/her own freewill and because of his/her faith and belief in the oneness of God (Allah) and prophetic character of Mohamed. If a conversion is not inspired by religion feeling and under gone for its own sake, but is resorted merely with object of creating a ground for some claim of right or as a device adopted for the purpose to avoid marriage or to achieve an object without faith and belief in the unity of God (Allah) and Mohamed to be his prophet, the conversion shall not be bonafide. In case of a religion conversion there should be a change of heart and honest conviction in the tenets of new religion in lieu of tenets of the original religion."
However, some single benches have granted police protection to the couples (even if it was a conversion case) observing that they were otherwise prima-facie of marriageable age who are entitle to live at the place and with the person of their choice. In such orders, a condition is also seen imposed to apply for registration of their marriage in accordance with the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Hindu Marriage Registration Rules,1973/The Special Marriage Act,1954.
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