Thursday, December 18, 2014

Conversion for ‘sole’ purpose of marriage is not valid: HC

Ruling that their conversions were not valid because it was done with “the sole purpose of marriage”, the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday refused to grant any relief to five couples who had got married after the girls who were Hindu converted to Islam. The couples had approached the court seeking relief against alleged harassment by relatives and police.

A single-judge bench of Justice Surya Prakash Kesarwani passed the order after clubbing five petitions from couples hailing from Siddhartha Nagar, Deoria, Kanpur, Sambhal, Pratapgarh and Mau in Uttar Pradesh.

The court said that the conversion of a person, “without any real belief in the religion to which he/she is converting, was null and void”. Such a marriage was against the tenets of the Quran and also the rulings of the Supreme Court on the issue, it added.

While dismissing the couples’ pleas, the court said: “The alleged conversion of petitioner No. 1 (girl) in each of the writ petitions cannot be said to be bona fide or valid. The religion of petitioner was converted at the instance of petitioner No. 2 (boys) to marry with the girl. The petitioner girls have stated that they do not know about Islam. In the writ petitions, as well as in the statements on oath made before this court, the petitioner girls have not stated that they have any real faith and belief in the unity of God and Mohammed to be prophet. They all stated that the boy got their religion converted with sole purpose to marry with her.”

Concluding that these marriages were “ against the mandate of... the Holy Quran”, the court said: “Thus conversion of religion to Islam in the present of facts of the girls, without their faith and belief in Islam and at the instances of the boys, solely for the purpose of marriage, cannot be said to be a valid conversion to Islam religion.”

The petitioners (girls), most of whom were aged around 18 or 19, had earlier submitted before court that they “did not know anything about Islam; they were not in the room when their religion was converted; and that they converted only because the boys wanted them to.”

The boys had also submitted before court that they were not aware of the paperwork regarding conversion. But they did admit that they had got the women converted for the sake of marriage.

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