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UP, Madhya Pradesh to be parties to plea against anti-conversion laws over marriage

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New Delhi, Feb 17: The Supreme Court on Wednesday permitted an NGO to make Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh as parties to a pending petition challenging the controversial state laws regulating conversions due to inter-faith marriages.

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A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde also allowed Muslim body Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind to become a party to the petition on the ground that a large number of Muslims are being harassed under these laws across the country.

The top court on January 6 had agreed to examine controversial new laws of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand regulating religious conversions due to interfaith marriages.

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The bench, also comprising Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian, however refused to stay the controversial provisions of the laws and issued notices to both the state governments on two different petitions.

The pleas, filed by advocate Vishal Thakre and others and an NGO 'Citizen for Justice and Peace', have challenged the Constitutional validity of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 and the Uttarakhand Freedom of Religion Act, 2018 which regulate religious conversions of interfaith marriages.

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