Police Stop Interfaith Wedding in Lucknow Despite Consent from Couples’ Families, Ceremony Deferred

Police intervened and stopped an inter-faith wedding ceremony from taking place in Lucknow on Wednesday night despite families of the couple consenting to the solemnisation and asked them follow the due process for such a marriage.

The incident took place at the DUDA colony in Lucknow’s Para locality where a Hindu woman was preparing to marry a Muslim groom with consent from both their families. As per information, police asked the families to follow the rules for interfaith marriage under the Special Marriage Act, following which the families decided to defer the ceremony. The couple were also informed about the new ordinance against forced and dishonest religious conversions.

Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Suresh Chandra Rawat said, “The police received information about the interfaith marriage and upon reaching the spot it was found that the marriage was being solemnized with the consent of both the families. The families were asked to follow the due process for inter faith marriage, and were also told about the new ordinance to check religious conversions by force, allurement, etc.”

Rawat said that the couple may get married without changing their religion under the Special Marriage Act, however, if they want to convert, they will have to give a declaration at least 60 days in advance to the district magistrate or additional magistrate.

UP Governor Anandi Ben on Saturday approved the Prohibition of Law against Religious Conversion Ordinance 2020. Under the ordinance, a provision of harsh punishment of up to 10 years has been made if anyone is found guilty of forcefully converting another individual. It says that if only the woman’s religion is changed for marriage, not only will such marriage be declared invalid, but those who help in conversion can also face a jail term of up to 10 years. The ordinance further states that lying, greed, or any other fraudulent way or conversion to marriage will be a non-bailable offense.

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