Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023

SC warns against giving ‘religious colour’ to UP rape and kidnap cases

Court also noted that petitioner had not produced any material to show that they had approached the National Commission for Women.

The issue of alleged kidnap and gangrape of girls in Western Uttar Pradesh for forced conversion and trafficking came up in the Supreme Court which warned an NGO from giving a religious “colour” to it. The NGO withdrew the petition later with liberty to file an appropriate one.

“This is a secular state. Don’t try to bring religion into the court. We are also concerned with the matter and you are also saying it is serious. But the colour which you are giving is also concerning us. We are concerned only with the law point,” said a bench led by CJI R M Lodha.

The court’s observations came after it perused certain “vague” and contentious statements made in the PIL filed by NGO ‘Jayati Bharatam’, claiming itself to be working for care and upliftment of women in UP. The court declined to entertain the petition in the present form.

The petition was filed along with 10 advocates, seeking a probe by a Special Investigating Team and direction to the Centre to take help of central forces to rescue more than 40 young girls, allegedly held captives in western UP districts.

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“You should not do anything or do anything by word of mouth which would disturb the peace. We are a secular state and everything should be done that protects the secular fabric. Nobody should do things to disturb the secular fabric,” the bench also comprising Justices Kurian Joseph and R F Nariman said.

The court also noted that the petitioner had not produced any material to show that they had approached the National Commission for Women or police.

Advocate Vishnu Shankar Jain, appearing for the NGO and others, submitted that vote bank politics was coming in the way of taking effective steps and that madrasas in UP have become hub for forced conversion. However, the bench was not in agreement with his contention and said “there is no material in the petition to prima facie satisfy us”.

First published on: 09-08-2014 at 02:27 IST
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