‘Conversion just for the sake of marriage not acceptable,’ says Allahabad High Court

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The Allahabad High Court on Friday dismissed a writ petition filed by a married couple seeking police protection and in its judgement observed that religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable, reported Live Law.

Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi in his judgement noted that the woman was a Muslim and converted to Hinduism just a month before she got married. Tripathi cited a 2014 order passed by the same court, where a batch of writ petitions were dismissed in a similar case. The court said it was not inclined to interfere in the matter under Article 226 of the Constitution, which enables a High Court to grant a writ petition.

In the 2014 judgement, the Allahabad High Court had dismissed a batch of writ petitions filed by a couple to seek protection as they had tied the knot after the woman converted from Hinduism to Islam and then performed the nikah or marriage. “Whether conversion of the religion of a Hindu girl at the instance of a Muslim boy, without any knowledge of Islam or faith and belief in Islam and merely for the purpose of marriage [nikah] is valid,” the court had asked then.

The court had also reiterated the Supreme Court’s stand in the case of Lily Thomas vs Union of India. It observed that conversion by an individual to Islam can be said to be bonafide if “he/she is major and of sound mind and embraces Islam by his/her own free will and because of his/her faith and belief in the oneness of God [Allah] and prophetic character of Mohammed”.

The court had also said that if the conversion is not “inspired by religion feeling” and is done “with the object of creating a ground for some claim of right…the conversion shall not be bonafide”.

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