Author – Shruti Singh

What are exactly UP Love Jihad Laws in reference to freedom of choice vs right to choose?

UP love jihad laws were proposed in Yogi Adityanath’s agenda before he became the Chief Minister of the state.

Let’s have a look at what exactly the jihad laws have to say –

The Uttar Pradesh jihad laws define punishment as well as a penalty under three different heads –

  • Firstly punishment of 5 years and penalty of minimum Rs.15,000 to those who are found guilty in conversion through misrepresentation or fraudulent ways.
  • Secondly, if the conversion of the religion is of a minor or schedule caste then the person found guilty will be imprisoned for a period of 10 years and a fine up to Rs.25,000.
  • Thirdly if the conversion is of a mass (a large number of people) then the guilty will have to pay a fine of Rs.50,000 and imprisonment up to 10 years.

When we talk about how one can convert to another religion?

Then the answer to it is that the person has to give it in writing that the person who is converting is not converting into another religion because of any undue influence to the district magistrate. If a violation of the above is found then the person may be imprisoned from a time period of 3 months to 6 years and a fine of Rs.10,000 will be imposed.

Now when we talk about the freedom of choice vs right to choose, it was mentioned by many states like Kerala that UP jihad law is a backseat to the human basic rights to choose. The government says that they don’t infringe the basic rights of humans, they just want to put a full stop to fraudulent interfaith marriages. This law is clearly against the jihadists of the country who play very cleverly to marry a Hindu woman fraudulently, hiding their religion and then converting them to their’s.

A former judge also questioned the earlier judgment of the Supreme Court when the court used Article 226 of the constitution which empowers the high courts to issue, to any person or authority, including the government (in appropriate cases), directions, orders or writs, including writs in the nature of habeas corpus, mandamus, prohibition, quo warranto, certiorari or any of them.

In the case of Hadiya (2017) where she clearly stated she married a Muslim man with her consent then why did the high court of Kerala annulled her marriage? Then why did the Supreme court of India use article 226 of the constitution and asked for a NIA investigation?

Then why were the questions of freedom of choice and right to choose were not upheld?

My opinion on this case will be that people who are fraudulent converting people in their religion should be definitely punished and a step like this will sooner or later cause fear in the mind of such people who are involved in these activities. Yes, people have the right to choose but a person who is in consent to convert his religion will definitely not mind giving it in writing to the district magistrate.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this article!

The Author of this Article is Shruti Singh. She is currently studying at Amity Law School.

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