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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Anti-conversion law: Pending decision on quashing of FIR, Gujarat HC mulls bail for accused

The complainant — a 25-year old woman married to a 21-year-old Muslim man— has already submitted the FIR registered was an “incorrect, untrue and exaggerated version of the information” given by her that “arose out of a petty and trivial domestic matrimonial dispute”.

By: Express News Service | Ahmedabad |
Updated: October 13, 2021 1:28:36 am
The court of Justice Ilesh Vora is mulling an interim relief by granting a regular bail, after which the couple may stay together for 15 days, following which the court would take a decision on quashing of the FIR.

In a plea jointly moved by a complainant and the accused for consensual quashing of the first FIR lodged under the Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amend-ment) Act, 2021, the Gujarat High Court Tuesday said it first wantd to clarify if the interfaith couple “wants to stay together or not”.

The complainant — a 25-year old woman married to a 21-year-old Muslim man— has already submitted the FIR registered was an “incorrect, untrue and exaggerated version of the information” given by her that “arose out of a petty and trivial domestic matrimonial dispute”. The couple said the issue has since been resolved and they wished to continue with their marital relations.

The court of Justice Ilesh Vora is mulling an interim relief by granting a regular bail, after which the couple may stay together for 15 days, following which the court would take a decision on quashing of the FIR.

The additional public prosecutor, however, objected and submitted the public prosecutor would make submissions regarding the court’s proposal. The matter is now expected to be considered Wednesday.

The FIR was lodged at Gotri police station in Vadodara two days after the anti-conversion law came into force on June 15. The accused were booked under the provisions of the IPC and the amended Gujarat Freedom of Religion Act and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act. The accused included the woman’s husband, parents-in-law, sister-in-law, husband’s uncle, a cousin and a mau-lvi who solemnised the couple’s nikah. The husband, his uncle, cousin and the maulvi has been in judicial custody for four months.

Justice Vora remarked that the uncle, cousin and the maulvi “are totally innocent” and have been behind bars “since long”. In light of the Supreme Court precedents that espouse for personal liberty, the court opined that it would be fit that they are released on bail.

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