HC relief to man booked under UP's anti-conversion law

High Court relief to man booked under Uttar Pradesh's anti-conversion law

According to the FIR, Nadeem often visited the complainant's wife house and allegedly sought to get her religion converted so that he could marry her

The Allahabad High Court has directed the Uttar Pradesh Police not to take any coercive action against a man booked under the recently promulgated Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 for allegedly trying to marry a woman with intentions of converting her to other religion.

A division bench comprising Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal was hearing a writ petition filed by Nadeem against whom an FIR was lodged at Mansoorpur police station in Muzaffarnagar.

Appearing on behalf of the petitioner, senior advocate SFA Naqvi argued that the ordinance is ultra vires of the Constitution and any criminal proceeding initiated under provisions of the ordinance shall be quashed.

Nadeem had sought quashing of the FIR lodged against him under sections 504, 506 and 120 B of the IPC and section 3/5 of the Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

According to the FIR, the petitioner often used to visit the complainant's house and by taking undue advantage of acquaintance with the wife of the complainant, was attempting to persuade her to change her religion so that he may marry her.

He also gifted a mobile phone to the complainant's wife.

The bench observed, "There is no material before us that any force or coercive process is being adopted by the petitioner to convert the wife of the informant."

"The victim (wife of complainant) is admittedly an adult who understands her well being. She as well as the petitioner have a fundamental right to privacy and being grown up adults who are aware of the consequences of their alleged relationship," it added.