SC allows Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind to be made party against ‘love jihad’ laws

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday allowed Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, a body of Islamic scholars, to become a party in the case challenging the controversial ‘love jihad’ laws brought in by the Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand governments.
The apex court bench, headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde, was hearing an impleadment application filed by senior counsel Ejaz Maqbool, on behalf of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind.
“A large number of Muslims are being harassed all across the country,” Mr Maqbool submitted before the top court, pointing it as the reason for the intervention of the Islamic body in the religious conversion laws.
The Court also permitted ‘Citizens for Justice and Peace’, an NGO, to make Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh parties to the pending petition against the state laws that seek to check incidents of ‘love jihad’ and religious conversions in interfaith marriages.
On January 6, the top court had issued notice on the petitions, but refused to stay the operation of the contentious laws.
In its plea, the NGO contended that Himachal Pradesh Act casts a reverse burden of proof upon the person converted, and makes the offences, including the ‘offence’ of getting married, cognisable and non-bailable.
The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, asserted that it would hear the intervention application and posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks