There Can Be No Interference If an Adult Woman Marries, Converts With Consent: Calcutta HC

The bench was hearing a petition moved by a father of a 19-year-old woman, who married and converted to the religion of her husband.

New Delhi: The Calcutta high court has reiterated that courts cannot interfere in an interfaith marriage if a woman marries and converts to another religion of her own free will, Bar and Bench reported.

The bench comprising Justices Sanjib Banerjee and Arijit Banerjee was hearing a petition moved by the father of a 19-year-old woman, who married and converted to the religion of her husband, the report said.

According to the police statement, she had done so of her own free will and that did not wish to return to her paternal home.

However, the father alleged that her daughter may have been forced to give her police statement. Therefore, the woman gave a second statement before the magistrate saying that she was under no pressure to convert or give any false statements.

However, a “clear and clean report” was not sufficient to convince the father, the court noted. It pointed out that there cannot be any interference.

“If an adult marries as per her choice and decides to convert and not return to her paternal house, there can be no interference in the matter,” the high court observed.

Some state governments including Uttar Pradesh have recently brought in “anti-love jihad” laws. “Love jihad” is a term coined by Sangh parivar outfits to describe an imaginary Muslim conspiracy to convert unsuspecting Hindu women to Islam.

Earlier this week, a man from Uttar Pradesh was arrested, and later released, under the love jihad law, and during the process, the woman suffered a miscarriage.