Illegal Conversion Act 2021 does not prohibit marriage of opposite religion couple: Allahabad HC

The Allahabad High Court has said in an important order that the Illegal Conversion Act 2021 does not bar a couple of opposite religion from getting married. The Registrar is not empowered to withhold the registration of marriage on the ground that the permission for conversion has not been obtained from the District Authority. The court said that the approval of the district authority to change religion is not binding, but directive.

The court said that the government or any private person has no right to interfere in the married life, freedom and privacy of an adult couple of opposite religions. The court has directed the police to provide necessary protection and protection to married adult couples of opposite religions and also directed the marriage registration officer to register immediately without waiting for the approval of the district authority. If anyone has cheated or misled, the parties have the right to take civil and criminal proceedings. Along with this, the Central Government has been asked to consider the Supreme Court’s direction to implement Uniform Civil Code.
The order was passed by Justice Sunit Kumar while accepting the petitions of 17 couples, including Myra alias Vaishnavi Vilas Shirshikar, Zeenat Aman alias Neha Soti, who were engaged in inter-religious marriage.

The court has directed the state government to issue a circular to comply with the order. Along with this, the Registrar General has also been directed to send a copy of the order to the Law Ministry of the Central Government and the Chief Secretary of the State for compliance. Considering all legal issues, the court said that the society is going through a phase of social and economic changes. Strict legal interpretation would nullify the spirit of the Constitution. Freedom of life and right to privacy are guaranteed under Article 21 of the Constitution. Citizens have the right to protect their privacy and that of their families.

Adult couples of opposite religions do not need permission from family, society, government or anyone else to get married. If two adults agree to the marriage, then such marriage shall be valid. Officials cannot refuse to register marriages and cannot force government permission to convert. The court said that every person has the right to choose his life partner. It is not a matter of beliefs or belief. Constitution is a living thing. With the change in the society, changes can also be made in the constitution. Constitution is not a stone which cannot be changed. Constitution is philosophy, not grammar. Over 100 changes have been made in the last 70 years. Article 21 of the Constitution gives the right to all citizens to choose the life partner of their choice.

The affairs of these lovers are
Vaishnavi is Hindu. She converted to Islam and married a Muslim in Maharashtra. After that applied for registration in Bijnor. Zeenat Aman is a Muslim. He adopted Hinduism. Married to Hindu boy in Arya Samaj Mandir Bijnor. The registration of her marriage was denied for not taking permission of the District Magistrate.

Manal Khan converted to religion and married Hindu in Arya Samaj Mandir Kanpur. Shama Parveen converted to religion and married a Hindu. Then applied for registration in Ghazipur. Gulafsa converted to religion and married a Hindu boy in Radhakrishna Temple, Amroha. Registered application. Ekta Madhvani converted to religion and married a Muslim boy. Mamta Maurya converted to religion and married a Muslim in Bareilly. Fiza changed her religion and married a Hindu in the Shiva temple, Badaun. Salma Kaur changed her religion. 34 year old girl married 25 year old Hindu boy in Arya Samaj Mandir Saharanpur. 42-year-old Snehlata converted to religion and married 40-year-old Muslim in Surat. Nasima converted to religion and married a Hindu in the Shiva temple Prayagraj. Renu changed religion and married a Muslim boy. Salma changed religion. Divorced from husband and married Hindu widower in Arya Samaj Mandir Muzaffarnagar. Pratibha changed religion and married Muslim in Shahjahanpur. Nisha converted to religion and married a Muslim in Moradabad. Violence Bano converted to religion and married Hindu at Shiv Mandir Jahanpur Vilar Mau. Baby changed religion and married a Muslim boy. All these 17 couples had challenged the stay or denial of registration of marriage in the petitions.