Image courtesy: Live Law
On February 17, the Supreme Court Bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, admitted CJP’s amendment to its original petition to include the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019.
The order reads, “I.A. No. 21146 of 2021 for amendment of writ petition is allowed”.
CJP’s original petition had challenged the anti-conversion laws of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand to be ultra vires of the Constitution on which the top court had issued a notice to the respective States on January 6, 2021.
In the amendment petition, CJP had humbly requested the top court to allow it to add additional grounds to the already existing ones, as Indian citizens enjoy certain fundamental rights but the Acts and the Ordinances are unconstitutional and attempt to control the life of the residents of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh, taking charge of the significant decisions in their life.
All four laws have been challenged on grounds that it is discriminatory, anti-women, and contravenes the right to privacy and personal liberty of citizens by criminalising interfaith unions. Thus, CJP has prayed for the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act (2018), Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, Madhya Pradesh to Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020 and Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2019 to be declared anti-Constitutional and struck down.
Senior counsel CU Singh and AOR Tanima Kishore appeared for CJP.
The matter is expected to be heard on March 5, 2021.
The order may be read here: