Raj to HC: ’08 con­ver­sion bill pend­ing with Cen­tre

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION - NEWS NET­WORK

The habeas cor­pus al­leged that one Payal Singhvi aka Aar­ifa Modi was force­fully con­verted to Is­lam and mar­ried to a Mus­lim man

TIMES Jodh­pur/Jaipur: The Ra­jasthan high court on Tues­day di­rected the state gov­ern­ment to ap­praise it by Novem­ber 27 the sta­tus of the Ra­jasthan Free­dom of Re­li­gion Bill, 2008, which has been sent to the Cen­tre for ap­proval. The bill, passed by the Ra­jasthan as­sem­bly in 2008, aims at check­ing force­ful re­li­gious con­ver­sions.

Adi­vi­sion bench of jus­tice G K Vyas and jus­tice Manoj Ku­mar Garg that was hear­ing a habeas cor­pus pe­ti­tion gave the di­rec­tion af­ter ad­di­tional ad­vo­cate gen­eral S K Vyas in­formed court that the state had ini­ti­ated the process of mak­ing a law on re­li­gious con­ver­sions but the bill was pend­ing be­fore the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia.

The habeas cor­pus was filed by one Chirag Singhvi, who al­leged that his sis­ter Payal Singhvi aka Aar­ifa Modi was force­fully con­verted to Is­lam and mar­ried to a Mus­lim man. Chirag even al­leged that his sis­ter’s mar­riage was a “love ji­had” case. Payal aka Aar­ifa, how­ever, dis­puted the charge in court, which al­lowed her to go back to her husband Faiz Modi.

Dur­ing an ear­lier hear­ing of the case, the bench had ex­pressed sur­prise if re­li­gious con­ver­sions could be recog­nised on the ba­sis of an af­fi­davit on a stamp pa­per of Rs 10. It had asked the gov­ern­ment to tell if there was any law in the state to gov­ern pro­ce­dures for re­li­gious con­ver­sions.

Re­spond­ing to the court’s query re­gard­ing the ex­is­tence of a law, if any, the state gov­ern­ment on Tues­day pointed out about the 2008 bill that is pend­ing the Pres­i­dent’s ap­proval.

In its re­ply, the gov­ern­ment stated the draft of law gov­ern­ing re­li­gious con­ver­sions was considered by state cab­i­net and af­ter ap­proval was passed by the as­sem­bly in 2008. The bill was sent to the gov­er­nor, who sent for the Pres­i­dent’s as­sent.

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