New Delhi:The Supreme Court on Wednesday issued notices to Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh governments on pleas challenging laws against the so-called practice of 'love jihad' enacted by them.
The Apex court, however, refused to stay the provisions of the relevant law which required the prior permission of religious conversion for marriage.
A bench headed by Chief Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde and also comprising Justices V Ramasubramanian and AS Bopanna was hearing petitions challenging the love jihad ordinance in Uttar Pradesh and Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 in Uttarakhand.
"We are saying you go to the high court and then come here. We are not saying you have a bad case," the top court told the petitioners ' advocate Vishal Thakre and Teesta Setalvad’s Non-Government Organisation 'Citizens for Justice and Peace'.
Senior counsel Chander Udai Singh, appearing for Ms Setalvad, argued that the laws were being misused to harass individuals indulging in interfaith marriages.
Advocate Vishal Thakre's plea said that the laws are against the public policy and society at large and violates basic structure of the Constitution.
"This ordinance can become a potent tool in the hands of bad elements of the society to... falsely implicate anyone...there are probabilities to falsely implicate persons who are not involved in any such acts and it will be a grave injustice if this ordinance is passed," the petitioners further said.
They argued that the prior permission provisions of the laws are oppressive."Can a law be stayed if prosecution is oppressive or false. This is the problem when you come directly to the Supreme Court," the bench told petitioners.
The three-judge bench observed that similar petitions are pending before the Allahabad High Court and the Uttarakhand High Court.Apex Court posted the next hearing after four weeks.(UNI)