Supreme Court To Hear Gujarat Plea Against Order On Religious Conversion

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The Supreme Court on Monday issued a notice on a petition challenging the Gujarat High Court’s order staying Section 5 of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021, which mandated permission of District Magistrates for religious conversion.

A bench of Justices Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari, while hearing an appeal filed by the state government, against staying Section 5 of the Act issued notice to Jamiat Ulama E-Hind Gujarat and the other on whose petition High Court order had come.

“Issue notice,” said the bench.

The Gujarat High Court on August 19 last year in an interim order had stayed Sections 3, 4, 4A to 4C, 5, 6 and 6A of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act 2021.

Section 5 of the Act requires a person who is converting another person from one religion to another, to seek prior permission for such a conversion from the district magistrate and also requires the person converting to send an intimation to the district magistrate of the district where the ceremony of conversion took place.

Failing to adhere to this provision attracts imprisonment up to one year or with fine which may extend up to ₹ 1,000, or both.

The Gujarat government has approached the Supreme Court against the High Court order claiming that the Section 5 of the Act was there ever since the original law was enacted in 2003 and it has nothing to do with marriage per se.

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