Allahabad High Court Refuses Bail to Central Government Employee Accused of Converting People to Islam by Misusing the Official Position

Irfan Shaikh @ Irfan Khan v State of UP

The appellant had been working as an interpreter in Indian Sign Language Training and Research Centre in Delhi since 2016 under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.

He was accused of being a vital link of the syndicate run by Umar Gautam, a converted Muslim, and his associates in the name of an organization called Islamic Dawa Centre for the purpose of conversion. It is observed that the huge funds were allegedly being provided to the organization i.e., Islamic Dawa Centre from various sources including foreign countries unduly.

The matter was uncovered by the police on noticing and getting informed by a sub-inspector that certain antisocial and anti-national people had targeted these minorities, weaker sections, socially and economically backward sections and children, women, and Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Their purpose is to change the demography of the country by converting citizens from one religion to another in order to disturb the peace and tranquillity of society.  It also came to knowledge that students of deaf and dumb school had been converted in an illegitimate way.

A First Information Report came to be registered against Gautam and other accused persons under the Indian Penal Code and Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religious Act.

The appellant approached the High Court after the trial court rejected his bail application, with the contention that he was not a member of any association nor involved in any crime. He was made an accused only on the basis of the statement given by the co-accused, and there is no evidence against him as such.

However, the state opposed the bail and argued that the involvement of the appellant was found during the investigation as he played a constructive role in the conversion of deaf and dumb people by misrepresentation.

A division bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Brij Raj Singh took into account the cogent and clinching evidence found by the investigating officer that the appellant Irfan Shaikh along with his co-accused were involved in the anti-national activities of conversion.

The court ordered, “Considering the facts and circumstances of the case, particularly the fact that the investigating officer, after due investigation, has found cogent and clinching evidence against the appellant that with the connivance of co-accused Umar Gautam and others, appellate is involved in anti-national activities of conversion by misusing his official position while working in Sign Language Training and Research Centre, New Delhi as Interpreter, we do not find any good ground to grant bail to the appellant”.

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