HE Allahabad High Court Friday granted bail to a Muslim man accused of forcefully converting a Hindu woman to his faith. The two adults had been living together for four years without any objection and resistance from the woman.
Pointing out that the FIR against the Muslim man had been lodged in March 2021 under the “Love Jihad” Ordinance even though it had come into force on November 21, 2020, Justice Rahul Chaturvedi of the Allahabad High Court said, “It is but obvious that the applicant/accused and the victim were in a relationship for last four years when there was no ordinance and also there was no objection or resistance from the side of the victim. All of a sudden, after this Ordinance came into existence, she got aware about her rights.”
The woman and the accused had been in a physical relationship for the last four years. The FIR alleged that the accused Munna Khan had taken certain “obscene” photographs and videos of her and used them to blackmail her to maintain a physical relationship with him. However, there was no recovery of any obscene still photograph or video by the police during the investigation.
The woman married one Deepak Kushwaha in Decemeber 2020 and went to Delhi. The woman claimed she came back from Delhi to Mahoba on 18.2.2021 and from 18.2.2021 to 02.03.2021 she remained in Munna Khan’s company at Orai along with her sister, where the accused would ravish her and compel her to change her religion.
The court said from the ossification test it was clear the woman was 19 years old. She had resided in the same locality as the accused. In such circumstances, it was surprising that in a small city like Mahoba, she was not aware of the background of the accused or his religion that too for four good years, the court said.
“Her mental thinking exposes about her conduct,” Justice Chaturvedi said, adding that she was a wilful and active participant in all actions faced by her during the last four years.
“Cumulative effect of all above factors clearly indicate that the victim was interested to remain in the company of applicant, and even after her marriage she wanted to maintain the relationship with him”, the judge added.
“In the statement u/s 164 Cr.P.C. the victim has clearly stated that she was in a relationship with the applicant for last four years and even after her marriage on 8.12.2020 she came to Mahoba from Delhi, and thereafter, went with him to Orai, where she was being pressurised to change her religion. The questionnaire put to her, completely exposes her falsity. Till date the victim has not been converted to the other religion, and therefore, the presumption of Section 12 of the Ordinance, 2020 would not be made applicable”, the judge said.