State’s First FIR Filed Under ‘Anti-Love Jihad’ Law Quashed by Gujarat HC3 min read
Published on: November 1, 2022 at 20:14 IST
The Gujarat High Court as of lately quashed the main FIR enlisted by the Gujarat Police under the state’s “anti-love jihad” law regulation after the couple settled the matter among themselves.
The bench of Justice Niral R. Mehta stated, “…this Court is of the considered view that further continuation of the criminal proceedings in relation to the impugned FIR would be nothing but unnecessary harassment to the parties and trial thereon would be futile and further continuation of the proceedings would amount to an abuse of process of law,” as it quashed and set aside all of the proceedings arising from the FIR.
The FIR was the subject of the case.
The woman, the alleged victim, had previously asserted in the FIR that her husband, his parents, and the priests who performed the marriage ceremony had compelled her to convert to Christianity through marriage.
They were all charged under the Indian Penal Code’s Sections 498A, 376(2)(n), 377, 312, 313, 504, 506(2), 323, 419, and 120B, as well as the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Act, 2021’s Sections 4, 4(A), 4(2)(A), 4(2)(B), and 5 and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities), Sections 3(1)(r)( s), 3(2)(5), 3(2)(5-a), 3(1)(w)(1)(2) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities).
From there on, the lady and the blamed moved the High Court looking for subduing of the case on the ground that the matter is agreeably settled among the gatherings and, hence, any further continuation of the procedures compliant with the decried FIR would cause difficulty to the gatherings.
Importantly, the woman who is the alleged victim also told the High Court that the FIR was filed by Gujarat Police on their own, bringing in the Love-Jihad angle, and that it contained blatantly false and incorrect information, particularly regarding the claims of forced conversion.
The woman claimed that she went to a Vadodara police station to report minor marital disagreements.
However, the police brought up the “love jihad” angle on their own and included the allegations in the FIR that she did not even make.
She stated in her petition that “certain religiopolitical groups intervened in the matter and communalized the said issue by bringing in the love jihad angle,” and that “also, on account of the overzealousness of the police officers involved, facts and offences which were never mentioned or alleged by the informant came to be inserted in the FIR.”
However, the state of Gujarat opposed the woman’s request to dismiss the case, arguing that the allegations in the FIR may prevent the complaint from being dismissed.
However, the Court decided to quash the FIR without going into the specifics of the woman’s claims by noting the following:
“…considering that the applicant No. 1 and the respondent No. 2 are husband and wife, respectively, and that the rest of the applicants are relatives of the applicant No. 1, the disputed F.I.R. came to be filed.”
“However, later on, with the mediation of the respective members of the family, an amicable settlement has been reached between the parties and they are residing together.”
This Court is inclined to accept the settlement because, from that perspective, the continuation of the criminal proceedings would jeopardize their future.