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‘Anti-love jihad law’: Inter-faith marriage no offence if not by force, says Gujarat HC in interim order

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  • Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, also known as anti-love jihad law, was notified on April 1 this year

 

Ahmedabad: Inter-faith marriages where there is no proof of use of force are not a criminal offence, the Gujarat High Court said in its interim order on recently implemented Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act.

The Act, also known as ‘anti-love jihad’ law, has remained in controversy since the time it was proposed.

The interim order, passed by the division bench, comprising Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav, aims at protecting people in an inter-faith marriage from being harassed unnecessarily.

“We are therefore of the opinion that pending further hearing, the rigours of Section 3, 4, 4A to 4C, 5, 6 and 6A shall not operate merely because marriage is solemnized by a person of one religion with another religion without force or allurement or fraudulent means and such marriages cannot be termed as marriages for the purposes of unlawful conversion,” the bench stated in the order.

The order was passed against a writ petition by Muhammad Isa Hakim who had challenged the provisions of the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021.

The court made an oral observation that religion and marriage were matters of personal choice.

The Act was notified on April 1 this year, on lines of similar anti-love jihad laws in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh

 

 

 

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