Gujarat High Court Grants Bail to 8 Accused of Religious Conversion

The accused allegedly allured various persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes category to convert to Islam

2 min read
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The Gujarat High Court in an order dated 23 August granted bail to eight accused of religious conversion in Bharuch district’s Amod.

However, the court barred them from entering Bharuch until the deposition of the first informant has been completed. Meanwhile, the bail plea of two other accused was rejected.

The accused allegedly allured various persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes category to convert to Islam, including the first informant, Pravin Vasava.

The First Information Report (FIR) was lodged in 2021 under sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act, 2003, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989, and Information Technology Act, 2000, with the period of the alleged offences being from 2006 onwards, The Indian Express reported.


What Did the Gujarat High Court Say?

Justice Nikhil Kariel said that “while there is existence of material suggesting allurement, there does not appear to be existence of any material which would suggest conversion by use of force."

The court further observed that while there are allegations of offences punishable under the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, “at the same time, there does not appear to be any material/allegation, whereby it could be considered that any of the offences alleged to have been committed, were committed on account of the status of the first informant or the other victims as named in the FIR being the persons belonging to the Scheduled Tribes category,” The Indian Express reported.

The accused who have been in custody for over eight months – Yakubbhai Ibrahimbhai Shanker, Thakorbhai Girdharbhai Vasava, Rizwan Mehboob Patel, Aiyub Barkat Patel alias Ramanbhai Barkatbhai Vasavasa, Ibrahim Puna Patel alias Jitubhai Punabhai Patel, Yusuf Jivan Patel alias Mahendrabhai Jivanbhai Vasava, Abdul Aziz Patel alias Ajit Chagan Vasava, Aiyub Basirbhai Patel, Sajidbhai Ahmedbhai Patel, and Yusufbhai Valibhai Hasanbhai Patel – had moved Gujarat High Court seeking regular bail.

All but Sajidbhai and Yusufbhai, who are office bearers (vice president and president) of Baitulmal Trust, were granted bail.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

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Topics:  Gujarat   Islam   Religious Conversion 

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