HC dismisses plea filed by Etah accused in unlawful conversion ordinance case

The petitioners submitted that Javed and Ayushi were adults and had every right to live as per their own free will.

The Allahabad High Court has dismissed as withdrawn petitions filed by a Muslim man and his family from Etah who had prayed that the court grant protection to the accused in a case under the under the new unlawful conversion ordinance in Uttar Pradesh till their anticipatory bail application was decided by a lower court.

Javed and 25 others, including his close relatives, were booked under Section 366 of the Indian Penal Code and Sections 3 and 5 (3) of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, at Jalesar police station.

The complainant Pravin Kumar Pachauri had alleged that in November 2020, that Javed and his family members planned his daughter Ayushi’s elopement for marriage, who he said was then converted to Islam through mental pressure and coercion.

Counsel for the petitioners submitted before court that Javed was in a relationship with Ayushi aged, about 22 years, and they performed nikah on November 28, 2020. After nikah, they lived together happily for about one month. However, thereafter Ayushi was forcibly taken by the police, the petitioner alleged.

The petitioners submitted that Javed and Ayushi were adults and had every right to live as per their own free will. The petitioners further alleged that during her recording of statement under Sections 161 and 164 CrPC Ayushi was forced by the police to give a particular statement and that is why she made some allegations of kidnapping but didn’t state anything specifically against the petitioner.

Javed’s counsel argued that his family members including his brother, sister and sister-in-law were implicated in the case of though they have nothing to do with the crime.

Javed wants to live with his wife, however, if any of the family member would be arrested, he would be under deep trouble and would be harassed unnecessarily, the counsels for the petitioners said.

The petitioners also submitted that till the anticipatory bail application was decided some protection be granted to the petitioners.

On instructions, counsel for the petitioners wants to withdraw this petition with liberty to file appropriate application by petitioners seeking anticipatory bail before the competent court, a division bench Justices Pritinker Diwaker and Deepak Verma said in an order dated February 12.

The State counsel opposed the petitions and submitted that petitioners were not entitled for any relief much less the interim relief as prayed for, therefore, no direction may be issued to the trial court.

“Be that as it may, petitioners are permitted to withdraw these petitions with the liberty as prayed for. Petitions are, accordingly, dismissed as withdraw,” the court said.

In the eventuality of filing any anticipatory bail application by the petitioners together with application for ad interim anticipatory bail, the competent court may decide the same expeditiously in accordance with law considering all the aspects of the case including the fact that Javed and Ayushi, as alleged, have already performed marriage, said the court.

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