On Friday, the Allahabad High Court stayed the arrest of a man booked by UP police under the new anti-conversion law.
The Bench directed the police not to take any coercive action against Mr Nadeem who is the accused in the case.
The Court passed this direction in a writ petition passed by the accused who was booked by the police on 29.11.2020 two days after the UP government promulgated the new law.
Senior Counsel SFA Naqvi who appeared for the accused argued that the ordinance in question was in conflict with the judgment rendered in Salamat Ansari & Ors vs Union of India where it was held that a person’s right to live with a person of his choice was intrinsic to life and person’s liberty.
It was further argued that the impugned ordinance was a fraud on the Constitution and was directly in conflict with Article 21,19, 25 & 26.
Learned Counsel contended that by using the new law, the UP government was creating an atmosphere of terror and fear in the lives of people who wanted to marry a person of different caste or religion and was also infringing upon fundamental rights of a person.
It was also pointed out that the new ordinance was in direct conflict with the Special Marriage Act,1954, which defines various degrees of a prohibited relationship.
It was further pointed out that the state government was already misusing the new law, and within nine days of passing the law, the UP Police has already registered five cases.
Mr Nadeem also submitted that the law was used to target Muslim boys selectively and had prayed to the Court to quash the FIR that was lodged against him u/s 504, 506 and 120B of IPC and u/s 3 and 5 of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020.
As per the FIR, Nadeem had developed illicit relation with the wife of the complainant and was trying to convert her by applying pressure.
In his defence, Nadeem has stated that he was a poor labourer who was implicated in the case just because the complainant wanted to avoid making payments to him.
He also pointed out that initially he was booked u/s of the IPC and new charges were added later on by hand.
Nadeem submitted that relevant sections of the new anti-conversion law added to create religious disharmony and due to oblique motives.