Once again, some opposition chief ministers have filed petitions against their Governors in the Supreme Court for allegedly exceeding their roles.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday asked the Uttar Pradesh government to state the specific role attributed to Islamic scholar Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who was arrested in September 2021 for allegedly running a religious conversion syndicate and was granted bail by the Allahabad High Court on April 5, 2023.
A bench of Justice Aniruddha Bose and Justice Sanjay Kumar asked the Uttar Pradesh government to give a statement in a tabular form on the specific role attributed to Siddiqui.
“What is the specific role attributed to this person (Siddiqui) and what was placed before the High Court,” asked the bench while posting the matter for hearing on September 5.
The State government has challenged the April 5, 2023, Allahabad High Court order granting bail to Siddiqui.
The High Court granted bail to Siddiqui in a case, in which he has been accused of offences under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021.
Granting bail to Siddiqui, the High Court had noted that one of the co-accused in the case was granted bail by the Supreme court, while the other was given relief by a coordinate bench of the Allahabad High Court.
Challenging the grant of bail to Siddiqui, the Uttar Pradesh government today told the bench that he (Siddiqui) was the main conspirator. It said that the further probe in the matter has revealed how the national level network was working towards the “objective of waging war” against the constitution of India and “how it seeks to replace the constitution with ‘Sharia’ law.”
“Conversion per se is permissible. There is no issue on that… Conversion while following the means that were being followed here – means of allurement, threat, torture, money, everything is coming, is not permissible,” lawyer appearing for the State government told the bench.
Siddiqui has also been accused of promoting enmity between different religious groups and disturbing India’s sovereignty and integrity.
Siddiqui, an Islamic scholar and president of the Jamia Imam Waliullah Trust, has been accused of running a mass religious conversion racket through several organisations and schools, funded by him. It has also alleged that he is receiving funding from international organisations.