PRAYAGRAJ: Quoting an earlier order of the high court that ‘conversion only for getting married is unacceptable’, a single bench of the Allahabad high court rejected the bail plea of a person accused of unlawfully converting a girl for getting married.
Rejecting the bail application of one Javed of UP’s Etah district, Justice Shekhar Kumar Yadav said that though Article 25 (1) of Indian Constitution provides right to freedom of religion and every adult citizen of the country is free to convert his/her religion and can marry any adult citizen, it does not mean that a person can be converted by greed or fear.
In its decision, the court quoted the judgment of apex court in the case of Lilly Thomas, wherein the apex court said that without having faith in Islam, the conversion of a non-Muslim only for getting married is void. “Further, the Allahabad high court in the case of Noor Jahan Begum alias Anjali versus state of UP has held that conversion only for getting married is unacceptable,” the court said.
The victim gave the statement in front of the magistrate that she was made to sign on a blank paper and on a paper written in Urdu and later on, she got to know that the bail applicant was already married. It was alleged by the prosecution that the girl was unlawfully converted for the sole purpose of getting her married to the bail applicant .
On the other hand, the petitioner said that both the parties were adults and the girl changed her religion on her own free will and got married.
The HC also observed that there was no place for religious bigotry, greed and fear in the country, but if a person belonging to the majority community converts his/her religion after getting insulted, then the country becomes weak and divisive powers benefit out of it.