HC dismisses plea of accused in religious conversion case

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Lucknow, Jul 7 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Wednesday dismissed a plea of recently arrested accused Mohd Umar Gautam in religious conversion case, seeking direction for the Special Investigation Team (SIT) not to leak any allegations pertaining to him to the media pending investigation and trial.

'We are of the view that since nothing has been brought on record, which indicates that the state government or the SIT leaked any allegations pertaining to the accused Gautam to the media pending investigation or violated the norms as prescribed in the Office Memorandum dated April 1, 2010 issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, therefore, no interference is called for by this Court in its extra-ordinary power under Article 226 of the Constitution in this writ petition,' observed a bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice V K Srivastav.

The bench further refused to accept the plea of accused that a press note of June 20, 2021 was issued to attack his reputation.

The bench noted that it was unable to accept that the said police communication violated the fundamental rights of the petitioner or provisions of any law.

“The reasons that prompted the police to issue the press note are not subject to judicial review provided they are bona-fide and do not violate the petitioner's right,' the bench observed in its order.

Earlier, additional government advocate Shiv Nath Tilahri had submitted that the press note was not put out as any offensive measure against Gautam, but to defend the reputation and to maintain public trust in UP Police. However, he clarified that the police did not disclose any fact relating to the probe being conducted by the probe agency in pursuance to the FIR registered by the SIT at Lucknow.

Gautam had filed the petition seeking ban on every disclosure to the media about his case and also setting up guidelines for media reporting in cases of criminal investigation. PTI CORR NAV RKS RKS

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