New Delhi, December 3: Two PILs have been moved before the Supreme Court of India challenging the UP government’s Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020.

One of the petitions, filed by a Delhi based lawyer, has also challenged the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act 2018. The other has been filed by a group of lawyers and law students from Delhi and Allahabad, India Today reported.

The petitions have claimed that UP government’s ‘love jihad’ law and the Uttarakhand law violate the fundamental right to privacy under Article 21 and freedom to practice religion under Article 25.

The pleas also argue that the ‘love jihad’ ordinance passed by the UP government and the Uttarakhand law violate the provisions of the Special Marriage Act by placing restrictions on inter-religious marriage, and “would create fear” in society.

In addition, the plea claims the law would “be a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to use this ordinance to falsely implicate anyone.”

The two petitions have also pointed out that the UP ‘love jihad’ law overturns a fundamental principle of criminal law — as it is up to a person who chooses conversion to prove that it is not fraudulent.

“In other words guilty till proven innocent”, argues the plea.

The pleas in Supreme Court came days after the first FIR under the UP ‘love jihad’ ordinance, passed on November 27, was filed on the same date.

Bareilly resident Owais was arrested for allegedly putting pressure on a woman to marry him and convert to Islam.

According to the FIR, Owais had been “harassing” the girl for almost three years and was pressuring her to marry him. Last week, on the date the new ordinance came into effect, Owais had gone to the house of the girl and allegedly threatened her family with a pistol. The Bareilly police arrested him under the new anti-‘love jihad’ law.

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