Allahabad High Court Rules Mandatory Newspaper Ads for Legal Religious Conversions”

In a significant legal declaration, the Allahabad High Court has mandated that any individual changing their religion in India must publicize their conversion through newspaper advertisements. This ruling was pronounced by Justice Prashant Kumar while hearing a petition by Sonu alias Waris Ali and two others.

The court highlighted that while individuals in India are free to choose and change their religion, such decisions must comply with established legal procedures. These include filing an affidavit and advertising the conversion in a newspaper to ensure that the change is recognized legally and to prevent any public objections or fraudulent activities.

Justice Kumar stressed the importance of having credible evidence to support the claim of conversion. The ruling is aimed at ensuring that conversions are not just verbal or written declarations but are substantiated and recorded on official government identification documents.

The case in question involved a young girl who converted to Islam and married Sonu alias Waris Ali. The court is currently reviewing whether the conversion was carried out voluntarily, following proper legal protocols, or if it was for the sole purpose of marriage.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act 2021 was referenced during the hearing. This act prohibits conversions done through misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or for the sake of marriage, and requires individuals to submit a declaration to the District Magistrate or the Additional District Magistrate at least 60 days prior to the conversion.

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