New Delhi: The Allahabad High Court in an important judgement has overturned the previous single-judge bench decision that religious conversions only for the purpose marriage are unacceptable, stating that decision was “bad in law”.
The decision was passed to nullify the Adityanath government’s wish to criminalize inter-faith marriages involving conversions. On November 11, the Allahabad high court said that the previous judgement does not conform to the right to life and personal liberty of mature individuals.
The bench was ruling on a petition filed by Salamat Ansari, who married Priyanka Kharwar/Alia. Priyanka’s father had filed an FIR against Salamat, complaining that his daughter had been kidnapped and had abandoned Hinduism to marry Salamat.
The bench said that it saw Salamat and Priyanka as two adults who had chosen to marry of their own free will, and said they were happy together. The FIR filed by Priyanka’s father must be repealed, the court said, as it appears to have been filed “prompted by malice and mischief only with a view to bring an end to marital ties”, LiveLaw reported. The bench also noted that Priyanka’s age was not under dispute, and she was an adult who could legally make her own decisions, including choosing to convert to Islam.
The Allahabad high court cited the Supreme Court’s judgment in Shafin Jahan v. Asokan K.M (2018) (on the conversion and subsequent marriage of Hadiya). “The apex court has consistently respected the liberty of an individual who has attained the age of majority,” the high court said.