NEW DELHI: The SC on Tuesday refused to stay the Jabalpur High Court decision i regards to religious conversion act. The Jabalpur HC had termed the MP Freedom of Religion Act (MPFRA) as ‘unconstitutional’.
A bench of justices M R Shah and C T Ravikumar hearing the matter noted that all conversions cannot be illegal. The court agreed to hear the MP govt’s plea agsint the HC order on February 7th. The MP govt in its plea has challenged the HC order that order that restrained it from prosecuting interfaith couples who get married without informing the district magistrate.
The MPFRA forbids conversions by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat of force, undue influence, coercion, marriage or by any other fraudulent means. Section 10 under the act states- any person who desires to convert shall submit a declaration to that effect, 60 days prior to such conversion, in prescribed form to the district magistrate stating that s/he desires to convert on their own free will. The MP high court had called the prosecution- unconstitutional and ordered the state govt to refrain from it.
The high court’s interim direction came on a bunch of seven petitions challenging provisions of the MPFRA 2021. The petitioners sought interim relief to restrain the state from prosecuting anyone under the Act.