NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said the pleas challenging the legislations against inter-faith marriage are very important, therefore it is essential to have benefits of the views of the High Court's concerned on these laws.
Senior advocate Sanjay Parikh, appearing for NGO People's Union for Civil Liberties, contended before a bench headed by Chief Justice S. A. Bobde that innocent people are being targeted due to these draconian laws.
The Chief Justice replied that it is not examining the merit of the laws at all now, but instead is examining the jurisdiction. Parikh insisted that he has circulated a note giving details of the incidents establishing the serious impact of The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018. He submitted that a similar act is in the pipeline for Madhya Pradesh too. The petitioners have moved the top court seeking stay on these laws aimed at stopping 'love jihad'.
The bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, replied: "The High Court is already seized of the matter. We would like to have the benefit of the High Court's view on this."
Parikh noted that the top court had already issued notice in the matter on January 6, but the bench said it has only issued notice and not passed any order in the matter.
As Parikh insisted that it is a very important matter, the Chief Justice said: "We are not denying it; we know it is important. Therefore, we like to have the benefit of views of the High Court before hearing the matter."
The bench reiterated that it is very essential to have the views of the High Court on these local laws, before the top court examines it. The Chief Justice said the court has already declined to entertain a plea by the Uttar Pradesh government to transfer all the petitions challenging the law before it.
After a brief hearing in the matter, the top court allowed the withdrawal of two pleas challenging the laws and gave liberty to the petitioners to move the High Court.
"Sanjay Parikh, learned senior counsel for the petitioners, seeks permission to withdraw the writ petition with liberty to approach the High Court. The writ petition is dismissed as withdrawn with liberty as prayed for," said the top court in its order.
On January 6, the top court had agreed to examine the validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion Of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom Of Religion Act, 2018, and issued notice to the two state governments. (IANS)