The Allahabad High Court has directed that a woman who converted to Islam for marriage must be given adequate financial guarantee.
A single judge bench of Justice Saral Srivastava ruling on a plea by the couple said that they had married of their own volition and that their families had no right to interfere in their married life. However, the husband was to ‘present before the Court a fixed deposit receipt of Rs 3,00,000 in favour of the petitioner no. 1 (the wife)’ on the next date of hearing which is February 8.
The court has taken this step as the amount of mehr (payment from husband to wife in case of divorce/death of husband) was too low. The court’s directive is to offer her financial security and also as she is facing the ire of her family for the conversion.
The petitioners, from Bijnor, had alleged that the wife’s family was threatening them after the marriage. The court has directed the Superintendent of Police, Bijnor to look into the matter and provide protection to the couple if necessary.
The couple had provided documents (high school marksheet and Aadhaar card) to the court to prove that both were adults.
The court observed, ‘where the two individuals have attained the age of majority, are living together, nobody is entitled to interfere in their peaceful life’.
The woman in question was called Sangeeta and had changed her name to Shaista Parveen upon conversion and then married. Family members had assaulted her after the marriage forcing her to seek protection from the court.
‘…family members have got annoyed and there is serious danger to the lives of the petitioners as they are being threatened and harassed’, the Court observed.
On November 24, the state government had brought into force the Prohibition of Unlawful religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020 to check conversions which were made under false pretext, allurements etc. Though the government has said that the law is not targeted at inter-faith marriages, it is widely perceived as a means to counter ‘love jihad’- that is conversions for marriage.