Relief from courts is like breeze for minorities

ArticleRelief from courts is like breeze for minorities


Relief from courts is like breeze for minorities

It has restored trust on constitution and judiciary

Ubaidullah Nasir

Relief from courts is like breeze for minorities

UP’s recently promulgated and draconian in nature prohibition of unlawful conversion of religion ordinance 2020 has become a tool in the hands of police to harass the Muslim youths willing to marry their Hindu love. So much so that an arranged marriage between both families which in normal times could have become an example of love beyond religion and peaceful coexistence that was to be performed in traditional way was stopped by Lucknow police asking the families to seek the Distt. Magistrate’s permission within a stipulated time of two months as per the provision of this ordinance. More than half a dozen cases have been registered in different part of the state after the promulgation of this ordinance. Even a married couple which was going to the office of the concerned officer to get their marriage registered were arrested the boy was sent to jail and the girl to protection home where she alleges that her three months old pregnancy was suspended however the administration has denied the charge. Similarly a marriage was stopped by the police on the complaint filed by some Bajrang Dal workers doubting a case of forced conversion however both boy and girl were Muslims but their parents were harassed. This would have given some sadistic pleasure to the Sanghis Bajrangis and other communal minded persons but such incidents badly lowered the image of police which under present regime has become highly communal and unjust to a particular section of society. Earlier it was the cow protection act which was a tool in the hands of police to harass the Muslim community now another tool in form of this ordinance has been provided to police.

However, the constitutional validity of the ordinance has been challenged in the Allahabad High Court through a public interest litigation and the court has ordered the state government to file a counter affidavit. The bench comprising chief justice Govind Mathur and justice Piyush Agarwal passed the order on the PIL filed by senior advocate Saurabh Kumar. However, the bench refused to grant stay order on the ordinance but in another case of the same nature another bench of Allahabad High Court comprising Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal stayed the arrest of accused Nadeem and directed state police not to take any coercive action against Nadeem The bench has tagged his plea challenging the constitutional validity of the ordinance being heard by the bench comprising Chief Justice Govind Mathur and justice Piyush Agarwal. Interestingly Nadeem is from Haridwar ( Uttarakhand ) and complaint against him was filed by one Akshay Kumar who is from Muzaffarnagar (UP). Mr Akshay Kumar alleges that Nadeem has developed a relationship with his wife with the intention of converting her religion by marriage. Nadeem denying the charge said that he is a poor labourer who is falsely being implicated in the case to avoid payment which Akshay Kuamr owes to him .This shows how this ordinance is being and may be misused in days to come . Senior advocate SFA Naqvi representing Nadeem argued that the ordinance is ultra vires to the constitution and any proceeding initiated under this ordinance must be quashed. But UP police will hardly mind it. It will not leave any opportunity to initiate proceeding under this ordinance to harass the Muslim youths which seemingly is the main purpose of this ordinance unless it is stayed.

The special marriage act is a central act which provides a special form of marriage for interfaith couples.The act provides prohibited degrees for marriage like real brother and sisters etc. Once prohibited degrees of marriages beyond religion and castes are defined by the central act then by impugned ordinance new prohibited degrees are created on religious grounds this amounts of creating a communal and divisive legislation which is not permissible in our constitution said Mr. Naqvi.

Not only interfaith marriage but even conversion to other religion from Hinduism is also under the purview of this ordinance. Person intending to convert from Hinduism has to explain and justify his /her decision before a magistrate and only after his satisfaction and written approval he /she may convert. This is closely personal to him /her and explaining their decision before a government officer is against the fundamental right of a person who has been given the freedom by our constitution to profess the religion of his/her choice. Moreover, conversion to Islam and Christianity has been brought under its purview whereas maximum conversion is taking place from Hinduism to Buddhism. Why Buddhism has not been brought under the provision of this ordinance is difficult to understand. Thus the ordinance becomes discriminatory in nature which also is not permissible under our constitution.

Tablighi Jamat was demonized by central and BJP ruled states for spreading Covid 19. An impression was created by government, right wing activists and media that Covid may have spread all over the world from any virus but in India this virus adopted Islam and joined Tablighi jamat to spread Corona.So many persons including foreigner and under aged boys were arrested by the police under many draconian provision of IPC. But first Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court then Allahabad High Court and now Delhi court has acquitted these Jamatis including foreigners which is a slap on the face of not only police force but on government and moreover on media which has lost all sense of responsibility and fair play and became a tool in the hands of government and right wingers to spread hatred against a particular community.

Such judgements from courts have come as a sigh of relief, as a breeze for the nation in general and for minorities in particular. Rightly or wrongly an impression has gain ground that Muslims under BJP governments are at receiving end, and even hope of justice from our courts has also became dim. The way Delhi police had overlooked all the agent provocateurs belonging to BJP. Hard facts about these persons provoking for violence and has targeted Muslims who were killed and looted during Delhi riots and the way only they are being arrested on charges of initiating riots. The UP police let loose a reign of terror on anti CAA protestors 22 persons were killed in a day during this protest and the UP government didn’t even bother to initiate an inquiry into these killings. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath justified these killing in UP assembly saying those who have come to die could not be saved.

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