Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery of the Allahabad High Court have agreed to hear the pleas challenging the constitutionality of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020. The Bench said, “Let this petition for writ be listed January 15, 2021 as fresh.”
According to LiveLaw, Additional Advocate General Manish Goyal requested the court to adjourn the matter since the Top Court has already taken cognisance of the matter issuing notice to State Governments of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
The High Court Bench observed that pendency of a batch of Public Interest Litigations (PILs) before the Supreme Court against Uttar Pradesh Government’s controversial Love-Jihad Ordinance does not preclude the High Court from hearing a challenge against the law.
In the previous hearing on December 18, the petitioner was granted relief as the High Court Bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal directed the UP Police to not take any coercive action against the accused booked under the new law until the next date of hearing. Today, on January 7, the Chief Justice led Bench further extended this protection till further orders. It said, “The interim order dated 18.12.2020 is extended till further orders.”
On January 6, 2021 the Supreme Court admitted Citizens for Justice and Peace’s petition along with advocates Vishal Thakre and Abhay Singh Yadav’s petition and issued notice to Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to file their responses within four weeks.
CJP’s plea has challenged the constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand’s anti conversion laws raising issues of privacy, extra-Constitutional powers to police and non-state actors, violation of the non-negotiable tenets of secularism, equality and non-discrimination.
The matter will now be heard on January 15.
The High Court order may be read here: