Rajasthan HC frames rules on conversions
Ten guidelines to remain in force in Rajasthan until a law is framed:
The Rajasthan High Court on Friday issued a set of 10 guidelines on religious conversions, affirming that it was the court’s duty to ensure that public order was not disturbed because of “forcible conversion” only for solemnizing marriage. The guidelines will remain operative until a law governing such conversions comes into force in the State.
A Division Bench at the High Court’s principal seat here was disposing of a habeas corpus writ petition in the case of a Jodhpur resident, Aarifa, 22, who had converted and married a Muslim youth. High drama was witnessed last month when the woman appeared in a veil in the court and denied that she was under threat or inducement.
The court initially sent Aarifa to Nari Niketan women’s home, but later allowed her to go home with her husband, Faeiz Modi.
Collector to be informed.
In its 38-page judgment, the court ruled that a person who wishes to change his or her religion will inform the District Collector, who will put the information on the notice board of his office the same day. The marriage of a converted person can be performed only one week after the conversion.
“A question arises whether the forcible conversion of religion for the purpose of marriage is justified? Obviously, the answer is ‘no’,” observed the Bench, comprising Justices Gopal Krishan Vyas and V.K. Mathur.
The guidelines direct the religious authority solemnizing wedding to ensure that the Collector was informed and information about conversion was published in newspapers. The marriage is liable to be declared void on the complaint of an “aggrieved party” about violation of the directions.
The court said the guidelines would not affect Aarifa and Faiez and they would be at liberty to lead a life as per their wish.
Source: The Hindu
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