The Additional Advocate General for the Uttar Pradesh government has assured the Allahabad High Court that no action will be taken against a petitioner who was earlier granted interim protection from arrest after being booked under the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 (Nadeem v. State of Uttar Pradesh).
A writ petition was preferred by one Nadeem, who was charged under the Sections 3 and 5 of the Ordinance. On a previous date of hearing, a Bench of Chief Justice Govind Mathur and Justice Saurabh Shyam Shamshery granted interim protection to accused.
When the matter came up for hearing on January 18, the Court was informed by the Additional Advocate General that no action has been initiated against the accused under the new Ordinance. The order states,
”At the threshold, it is stated by learned Additional Advocate General that the investigating agency is not proceeding against the petitioner under Section 3/5 of Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.”
Apart from Section 3 and 5 of the Ordinance, the petitioner was charged under Sections 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace), 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
In view of the AAG’s statement, the Court noted that the investigation is to be carried out against the petitioner only for the offences under the Indian Penal Code. The same is to be heard by a Bench hearing such matters as per the roster. The matter will now be listed accordingly.
Noting that the petitioner had also challenged the validity of the Ordinance, the Court observed,
“Suffice to state that a challenge is also given to the constitutionality of the Ordinance of 2020 in this petition for writ that does not survives in light of the statement given by learned Additional Advocate General.”