The Gujarat High Court on Friday verbally mentioned that a married couple should be capable to determine which religion to follow, while issuing notice to the State government and the Advocate General of the State on a case asking the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021 in the case of Jamiat Ulama-E-Hind Gujarat vs. the State of Gujarat
A Bench Chief Justice Vikram Nath and Justice Biren Vaishnav urged the State attorney whether conversion by way of marriage can be made an offence.
“It is up to the married couple to decide which religion to follow. It is for them,” the Bench observed.
The 2021 Act had amended the existing Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003 and prevented forcible religious conversion by marriage.
Senior Advocate Mihir Joshi describing the petitioners presented that the requirements of the Act are violative of a citizen’s Fundamental Right under Article 25 to profess and propagate their religion.
It was more discussed that the language used in the Act is uncertain and it infringes upon the precious right to privacy under Article 21, required to an individual in marriage.
Though, advocate Manisha Lavkumar appearing for the State, presented that the purpose of the Act is to discuss situations wherein a relationship, a marriage is not a choice unless conversion takes place.
The Bench approved the State time to provide and listed the matter to be heard further on August 17.