Nainital: The Uttarakhand High Court has asked the state government to curb the practice of changing religion for the purpose of marriage.
The high court, however, clarified that it was not an order but a suggestion.
Disposing of a petition related to an inter-religion marriage yesterday, Justice Rajiv Sharma said that the court often comes across cases where such marriages are organised.
Sometimes the conversion from one religion to another is just a sham meant to facilitate the marriage, the court said.
In order to curb the practice, the court expects the state government to legislate the Freedom of Religion Act on the analogy of Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 1968 and Himachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act, 2006.
The two acts mentioned by the court seek to prevent forcible conversions which create resentment among among several sections of society and also inflame religious passions.
The court insisted that while framing the Act, religious sentiments of citizens must be given due consideration, the justice said while specifying that it was a suggestion and not an order.
The case relates to the alleged elopement of a Hindu girl with a Muslim boy who later claimed that he had changed his religion for the marriage.
The petitioner, Rudrapur resident Girish Kumar Sharma, pleaded before the court that his daughter was missing since September 18 and the police were unable to find her.
When the police finally traced the girl and brought her before the court, the girl claimed she was willing to go back to her parents.
Lalit Sharma, the advocate appearing on behalf of the father of the girl in question, said, "The court, being well aware of the fact that it is not the role of the court to give such instructions to the state government to legislate still made the suggestion considering the fast changing social milieu, and its ill effects." PTI