Allahabad HC protects a man from arrest under UP’s Anti Conversion law; says no material that any force or coercion adopted by the accused for conversion

The Allahabad High Court Friday ordered no coercive action against one Nadeem accused of persuading the wife of the complainant to change her religion for the purpose of marriage.

A division bench of Justices Pankaj Naqvi and Vivek Agarwal said there was no material on record that any force or coercive process was being adopted by petitioner Nadeem to convert the wife of the informant.

Justice Pankaj Naqvi and Justice Vivek Agarwal.

The bench added that the victim-wife 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”, the bench said.

While referring to the decision of the Supreme Court in Justice Puttaswamy and others Vs. Union of India (UOI) and Joseph Shine Vs. Union of India, the bench said the issue of the right to privacy has been held to depend on the exercise of autonomy and agency by individuals.

The present is a case, the Court noted, where all the allegations are prima facie based on suspicion.

Petitioner’s advocate SFA Naqvi contended that the FIR under the newly enacted Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance 2020, was based on mere suspicion and there is no material on record to substantiate the contentions raised in the FIR.

Earlier this year, the same bench held that a single-judge bench decision holding that religious conversion just for the purpose of marriage is unacceptable was not good law.

Read the Order