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SC extends interim protection to SHUATS officials booked by UP Police in conversion case

IANS logo Reported By IANS |
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New Delhi, Jan 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Tuesday extended its order granting interim protection against arrest to the Vice-Chancellor and other higher officials of the Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture Technology and Science (SHUATS), who were booked by Uttar Pradesh Police for allegedly persuading a woman to adopt Christianity by offering her a job and other allurements.

A Bench, presided over by Justice Aniruddha Bose asked Additional Advocate General Garima Prasad (AAG), representing the state government, to file a counter affidavit within a period of one week in the matter.

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The matter is tentatively listed for further hearing on February 23.

In December 2023, a Vacation Bench of the top court had passed an interim order protecting Rajendra Bihari Lal and other petitioners from arrest in connection with an FIR registered with Bewar Police Station of UP’s Hamirpur.

Further, the Supreme Court had stayed operation of the impugned judgment passed by the Allahabad High Court asking the accused to surrender before the court on or before December 20, 2023 and apply for regular bail.

In its order passed on December 11 last year, a Division Bench of Justice Rahul Chaturvedi and Justice Mohd Azhar Husain Idrisi of the High Court had refused to quash the FIR lodged against varsity officials under Section 376D (gang rape) and other IPC Sections, and relevant Sections of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021 and Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956.

It had said, “No God or true church or temple or mosque would approve such types of malpractices. If someone has chosen to get converted to a different religion, then it is totally another aspect of the issue. In the instant case prevailing upon the tender mind of a young girl providing gifts, clothing and other physical amenities and then asking her to get baptised is an unpardonable sin.”

The High Court had said the allegations levelled in the FIR were extremely serious and horrifying, and asked the Superintendent of Police (SP), Hamirpur to personally supervise the investigation and submit a report before the concerned Magistrate within 90 days.

The accused in the case had pleaded that the victim was offered a job at SHUATS and when she was sacked from her service in 2022, she tailored a story as mentioned in the FIR, just to rope in all the higher officials of SHUATS, including the VC.

In her FIR, the woman alleged that she belonged to a lower middle-class family and was trapped by another woman who took her regularly to a church and she was regularly subjected to sexual exploitation by the accused, including the VC of SHUATS, formerly known as Allahabad Agricultural Institute.

In the FIR, she said that she was pressurised to bring other women for conversion and other illegal works.



(This report is auto-generated from IANS news service. 'Main Media' holds no responsibility for its content.)

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