- Apprentice Lawyer
The Allahabad High Court has extended the validity of the interim protection granted to a person who was booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which regulates religious conversion in the State (Nadeem v. State of Uttar Pradesh).
In the order passed today, a Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery said,
"The interim order dated 18.12.2020 is extended till further orders."
The petition is now listed for January 15, by which date the respondents may file a counter to the writ petition.
On the last date of hearing, a Bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal had ordered that no coercive action be taken against the petitioner while hearing his plea to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against him.
An FIR was registered against the petitioner for offences under Sections 504, 506 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 and 5 of the Ordinance, prompting him to approach the High Court.
Senior Advocate Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi, appearing for the petitioner, had then pointed out that the validity of the Ordinance invoked against the petitioner was sub-judice and pending before the High Court itself.
It was further submitted that the FIR was based on mere suspicion with no material to substantiate the contentions raised therein.
The High Court had thus opined that the case was one in which all the allegations were prima facie based on suspicion and, therefore, the matter required consideration.
The controversial Ordinance promulgated by the UP government in November 2020 has been in the eye of storm for infringing on personal liberty and choice of individuals.
The Ordinance lays down a detailed procedure to be followed before an individual can convert from one religion to another. Violation of the same entails criminal liability on the individual who undergoes conversion and the individual who converts the person.
[Read the order here]