7 July 2021 12:20 PM GMT
The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a plea moved by Umar Gautam, who is accused of being part of a nationwide religious conversion racket, against the alleged leaking of sensitive/prejudicial information related to him by the Investigating Agency to the media vide a press note dated June 20, 2021.The Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Vikas Srivastava opined that the said...
The Allahabad High Court today dismissed a plea moved by Umar Gautam, who is accused of being part of a nationwide religious conversion racket, against the alleged leaking of sensitive/prejudicial information related to him by the Investigating Agency to the media vide a press note dated June 20, 2021.
The Bench of Justice Ramesh Sinha and Justice Vikas Srivastava opined that the said police communication did not violate the fundamental rights of the petitioner or provisions of any law.
The Court specifically ruled that nothing had been brought on record, which indicated that the investigating agency had leaked any allegations pertaining to the petitioner to the media pending investigation or violated the norms as prescribed in the Office Memorandum dated 01.04.2010 issued by Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
Noting that no sensitive information was published by the probe agency, the Court rejected Gautam's assertion that by means of a press note, some sensitive information had been leaked in the ongoing investigation against him.
"It is an admitted case of the State that the press note dated 20.06.2021 has been released by an authorized officer. The fact that the petitioner has been arrested in F.I.R. No. 09 of 2021 has been published. Therefore, his name in the said press note cannot be considered to be prejudicial to a fair trial that may ensue," observed the Court.
Umar Gautam's plea
Umar Gautam, who himself converted to Islam from the Hindu faith, has been accused of converting 1,000 persons in U.P. and allegedly got many of them married to Muslims.
He was arrested last month by the UP police Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) on the charges of mass conversion of people into Islam through inducements such as marriage, job and money, and mental pressure.
Further, he filed the instant plea before the Allahabad High Court challenging the leaking of sensitive and controversial information about himself and prohibiting the untrue reports from being published/ televised in the print and TV media.
Gautam alleged that the Investigating authorities released a Press Note containing allegations against him and thereafter, several news outlets, TV media outlets and social media handles published and broadcast highly sensitive/confidential information in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation in the F.I.R against him.
It was submitted that attempts on the part of the Investigating Agency are in violation of guidelines of the Office Memorandum dated 01.04.2010 issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
It was also argued that the Investigating Agency has also disclosed certain confessions made by the petitioner during interrogation by means of press release dated 20.06.2021.
Lastly, it was alleged that said press note was issued by the U.P, Anti Terrorist Squad in an attempt to prejudice the petitioner's right to a fair trial and, thus, violates Article 21 of the Constitution of India.
Case title - Mohd. Umar Gautam v. State Of U.P. Thru. Prin. Secy. Home, Lucknow & Ors
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