- SC dismisses plea seeking to set aside the order of Allahabad HC over religious marriage conversions
- A Supreme Court bench of three judges dismissed the petition filed by Advocate Aldanish Rein
- The petition sought a declaration that in view of freedom of religion and freedom to choose a life partner, the observations made by the Allahabad HC was wrong
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court refused to entertain a plea seeking to appeal the order of the Allahabad High Court, which ruled that “conversion is unacceptable only for the purpose of marriage.”
The top court claimed that the High Court’s divisional bench subsequently disapproved and set aside the impugnedorder.
The Bench of Chief Justice SA Bobde and Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian stated that they saw no reason to intervene, as the petitioner acknowledged that the order of 23rd September had subsequently been set aside by the Division Bench of the Allahabad High Court.
At the outset, the bench asked the petitioner’s advocate, Aldanish Rein, why he could not approach the High Court on the matter, because his petition under Article 32 of the Constitution does not constitute an acceptable remedy for setting aside the High Court’s order.
Rein asserted the court can say that the High Court’s declaration was not right.
The bench told Rein that there was no need to go on anything like this and the High Court could be approached for some significant relief.
“If you are not granted relief by the High Court, then you can come here,” the bench said, adding that the petition under Article 32 does not lie in the case. Rein claimed that the High Court order caused the government of Uttar Pradesh to pass an order, and because of this, hundreds of interfaith couples are harassed every day.
The bench said, “By pressing on an argument which is not tenable, you are spoiling your own case. You’re pushing this unnecessarily.”
When asked about the order of the division bench, the lawyer said, “Yes, the High Court’s division bench has said that this assertion is not right.”
The Supreme Court bench added, “Once this statement has been considered bad by the division bench, then why do you want the Supreme Court to declare the same?”
In his plea, advocate Aldanish Rein stated, “Being concerned with the freedom to practice any religion and the freedom to choose a life partner and being further concerned with the wrong precedent set by the High Court of Judicature of Allahabad in the present petitioner, through the present Public Interest Litigation, approaches this Court in the capacity of an Officer of this Court.”
The lawyer also further stated that not only did the order of the High Court leave the poor couple at the mercy of the members of the offending family, the police, the vigilantes, and the religious organizations’ hate monger, but also set a false precedent that in the case of conversion of faith, inter-religious marriages cannot be solemnized by either partner.
The Special Marriage Act, 1954, should certainly be followed by interfaith couples to get married, but the lengthy procedure and the unfair provisions of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 make it very difficult for a runaway couple to comply with the said provisions resulting in religious marriages after conversion to the faith of either spouse, the plea said.
In his plea, Rein said that the petitioner has seen in his family inter-religious Special Marriage Act Marriages and is thus aware of the difficulties that an inter-religious couple has to face in order to get married.
The plea also said that the Special Marriage Act is practically intended only for couples where both families agree to such marriages or at least are not out there to harm the couple.
It mentioned that the “choice of religion is a person’s personal choice.” If the Court does not allow a person to choose his religion freely, it constitutes a violation of his fundamental right, as guaranteed under the Constitution of India.
The petition entailed that given the freedom of religion along with the freedom of choosing a life partner which are given to every citizen of Indian under the principles of the Constitution of India, the observations which were made by the High Court are wrong.