Religious conversion: Court reserves order on plea to ban media reporting on probe-related matter

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Lucknow, Jul 2 (PTI) The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court on Friday reserved its order on the plea of Mohammad Umar Gautam, arrested in connection with a case of unlawful religious conversion, seeking a ban on media from reporting matters related to the probe.

On June 20, New Delhi's Jamia Nagar residents Mufti Qazi Jahangir Alam Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam, who ran Islamic Dawah Center, an outfit working on the ISI funding for conversion of deaf-mute students to Islam, were nabbed.

In his plea, Gautam claimed that the print and electronic media were reporting on several items which are part of the probe. He claimed that this may influence the probe and adversely affect his rights.

Making several news channels an opposite party in the petition, he demanded that they be barred from telecasting and reporting any material of his case.

Opposing the plea, the government counsel argued that the investigating agency did not leak any material to any section of media and it initially reported the contents of the FIR only.

He stressed that the Supreme Court has already set guidelines for media reporting and as such there is no need to pass any order on this petition.

After hearing the pleas, the bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice V K Srivastav reserved their order.

According to the UP Police's anti-terrorist squad (ATS) Qasmi and Mohammad Umar Gautam purportedly had access to funds from Pakistan's inter-services intelligence (ISI) and other foreign agencies to carry out their alleged illegal activities. PTI COR SAB NSD NSD

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