While delivering a lecture on Sunday, Former Supreme Court judge Madan B. Lokur criticized the recently passed ordinance by the Uttar Pradesh government criminalizing religious conversion via marriage. Lokur stated that the new law puts freedom of choice and human dignity at the backseat.
“Giving a backseat to freedom of choice, dignity and human rights, a stringent ordinance related to marriage and forcible conversion has recently been passed in Uttar Pradesh. Are we as a society prepared for this?” said ex-judge of Supreme Court.
After approval from the Yogi Adityanath-led state cabinet, Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel promulgated the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 on November 28. Hours after the decision, the first case was registered against a Muslim man in the Bareilly district.
Lokur stated that the ordinance introduced against interfaith marriages violates the jurisprudence developed by the top court. “States of Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Assam are planning to come up with similar ordinances. The purpose of this law is to prohibit what is popularly known as love jihad,” Lokur said.
He further added, “Although ‘love jihad’ has no definition, one chief minister has defined it as ‘jihadis playing with the honour and dignity of our sisters and daughter by hiding their real names and identities.”
“Another chief minister went to the extent of saying that ‘if these jihadis don’t mend their ways, it is the beginning of the journey to their graves. Is this possible death sentence already pronounced sanctioned under the Constitution or by the law? This seems to be a resurgence of the trend of mob lynching. What about the freedom of choice? Why not declare a war on child marriage, which by definition is a forced marriage?” said Madan B Lokur.