The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday reserved its order on a plea moved by accused in alleged conversion racket, Umar Gautam and Jahangir, seeking directions to stop media trial in the case so that premature and wrong statements are not made with regard to the case. .A Division Bench of Justices Ramesh Sinha and Vikas Srivastava, demanded how such an order can be passed and also referred to a judgment of Supreme Court judge Justice DY Chandrachud on media freedom. ."Can we stop the media? Have you read Justice Chandrachud's judgement on this? Even the Supreme Court has passed many judgments in this regard. Media has right to report," the Court said. .The petitioners are accused of mass conversions of around 1000 persons and have been charged for offences including promoting enmity between religious groups (Section 153A) and insulting religious sentiments (Section 295A) of Indian Penal Code besides offences under the recently enacted Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021..The petition was filed to restrict the investigating agencies from releasing any pre-mature information regarding the petitioner (Umar) who is currently detained by the Anti-Terrorism Squad in Uttar Pradesh.It was pointed out that the Investigating agency also issued a press release providing sensitive information prejudicing with the Petitioner’s Right to fair trial.The plea prayed to restrict the media outlets, especially the respondents (Sudarshan News, Aaj Tak, OpIndia and Zee News) from publishing or running a parallel media trial."The conduct of the Respondent Investigating Agency merits strict reprimand by the Hon’ble Supreme Court, inasmuch as such sharing of sensitive material during the pendency of an investigation casts clear doubts over the fairness of an ongoing investigation and also belittles the mandate of Section 172 of the Cr.P.C., by which the details of an ongoing investigation are not to be shared with any person except judicial officers," the plea said. .The petitioner also submitted that he is an Islamic scholar and a religious preacher and is being illegally framed in false cases with the sole intention to harass the petitioner with false cases.."As the investigation is yet to be completed and charge-sheet yet to be filed, the investigating agency via press release dated 20.06.2021 did not confine the information to the essential facts of the case and disclosed the facts to the media which are speculative, unconfirmed and judgmental towards the petitioner herein and caused irreversibly and irreparably prejudice to the Petitioner in his attempts to secure his liberty and prove his innocence," the petition stated. .The petitioners also referred to judgment of the Delhi High Court in Devangana Kalita v. Delhi Police, where the Delhi Police disclosed sensitive information with regards to petitioner via press release which further led to a malicious media trial by some media. The Delhi High Court had then directed news agencies not to issue any further communication naming any accused or any witness till the charges, if any, framed and the trial is commenced..Advocate Vijay Vikram Singh, appearing for the petitioner, submitted that media has been falsely reporting the issue and wrong allegations are being made against Umar."This is an election year and such efforts can increase religious divide between religious communities and news articles of such nature would further increase the religious divide in the society," Singh argued.It was also alleged that investigating agencies are leaking information to the media. .Advocate General opposed the plea submitting that the allegations tabled by the petitioners are baseless and the police agencies are not leaking any messages."They should approach the Magistrate, where they have an existing remedy under Section 156 of the Criminal Procedure Code," he contended..The Court, however, questioned whether it can restrict the media while proceeding to reserve its order. .Advocates Vijay Vikram Singh and Ashma Izzat appeared on behalf of the petitioners and while AG appeared for the State.