“Victim is adult who understands her wellbeing,” Allahabad HC grants protection to Muslim youth booked under ‘love jihad’ law

The Allahabad High Court on Friday ordered that no coercive measures should be taken against a Muslim youth who was booked under UP’s recent draconian ‘love jihad law’ -the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 (Ordinance)- which regulates religious conversion.

A bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal was hearing a petition by 32 year old Nadeem, to quash the First Information Report (FIR) registered against him, Bar and Bench reported.

Nadeem from Muzaffarnagar district was one of the first to be charged under Uttar Pradesh’s controversial anti-conversion law.

The case against Nadeem was based on the compliant given by Akshay Kumar Tyagi, who alleged that Nadeem was trying to convert his wife Parul so as to marry her. It was the complainant’s claim that Nadeem was known to him and used to visit his house often.

An FIR was registered against the Muslim youth for offences under Sections 504, 506 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 and 5 of the Ordinance based on the compliant.

“Victim (Complainant’s wife) is admittedly an adult who understands her well being. She as well as the petitioner (Nadeem) have a fundamental right to privacy and being grown up adults who are aware of the consequences of their alleged relationship,” the court observed.

The judges also extracted Article 25 stating that it provides all persons equal right to freely profess, practice and propagate religion, subject to public order, morality, health and other provisions of Part-III of the Constitution.

“Till the next date of listing no coercive measure shall be taken against the petitioner in connection,” court ordered.

According to Bar and Bench, Senior Advocate Syed Farman Ahmad Naqvi, appearing for Nadeem pointed out that the validity of the Ordinance invoked against this Muslim youth is sub-judice and pending before the High Court itself.

Several petitions have already been filed before the Supreme Court and Allahabad High Court challenging the validity of the recent ordinance by Yogi Adityanath government.

“The present case, is with regard to upholding right to privacy as a basic fundamental right under Article 21 of the Constitution,” Naqvi told the court.

(With inputs from Bar and Bench)