To The Point: Unconstitutional ‘Love Jihad’ laws should be struck down and quickly
Can there be state-sponsored curbs on two consenting adults falling in love? Even if they belong to different religions? Doesn’t our Constitution allow us the freedom to choose who we love and want to, voluntarily, spend the rest of our lives with, without fear of reprisal from the much more powerful state machinery? Can the state, without concrete, bonafide reasons, scrutinise or criminalise inter-faith marriages? Most importantly, since the burden of proof in such cases as per the new laws has been shifted on to the couple, who will have the responsibility of proving that there was nothing illegal or forcible in such marriages, aren’t these laws turning our country’s criminal justice system on its head?
When it sits down to decide the Constitutionality of the laws enacted by the BJP governments in Uttarakhand Pradesh and Uttarakhand to check the so-called Love Jihad, these are just some of the important questions that the Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde will have to settle.
Most legal experts are unanimous in their opinion that the Constitutional validity of UP Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 & Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018, is suspect. And that is putting it mildly.