The Allahabad high court on Friday dismissed a petition filed by an interfaith couple seeking police protection, reiterating that religious conversion only for the sake of marriage is not valid under law.
Justice Mahesh Chandra Tripathi passed the order on a petition seeking directions to the police and the woman’s father not to interfere in their peaceful married life filed by Priyanshi alias Samreen and her partner.
The petition mentioned that the couple married in July this year but that the family members of the woman were interfering in the married life of the couple.
Justice Tripathi observed, “The court has perused the record in question and found that the petitioner has converted from her religion on 29.6.2020 and just after one month they have solemnized their marriage, which clearly reveals to this court that the said conversion has taken place only for the purpose of marriage.”
In this case, the woman was a Muslim and converted to Hinduism.
The court referred to Noor Jahan Begum case, a 2014 judgment of the Allahabad high court which ruled that conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable.
The court dismissed the writ petition.
In the Noor Jahan Begum case, the high court dismissed a batch of writ petitions praying for protection of a married couple where the woman converted from Hinduism to Islam. The issue considered in the said case was “whether conversion of religion of a Hindu girl at the instance of a Muslim boy, without any knowledge of Islam or faith and belief in Islam and merely for the purpose of marriage (Nikah) is valid”.
The court at that time answered the question in negative while relying on teachings of the Quran.
The court also referred to a Supreme Court case that said conversion to Islam can be valid only when done of a person’s “free will” and “belief in the oneness of God” and not for “creating a ground for some claim of right”.