NEW DELHI: The SC on Friday deferred by 2 weeks the hearing on protection to dreaded gangster-turned-politician BSP MLA Mukhtar Ansari, now lodged at Banda jail in UP. A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy put off the hearing on the plea by his wife Afsana Ansari on the government’s plea that the prosecution counsel was changed and he could not file his papers to appear in the case.
SC anguished over plea to control religious conversions
The Supreme Court on Friday expressed anguish at a PIL seeking direction to the Centre to take steps and consider a new law to check religious conversions. A Bench headed by Justice Rohinton Fali Nariman said there is no reason why persons above 18 cannot be allowed to change their religion when the word 'propagate' is there in the Constitution. Refusing to entertain a PIL by BJP leader Advocate Ashwini Upadhyay, the Bench dubbed it as a 'publicity interest litigation' and not a public interest litigation. After a brief hearing, Upadhyay agreed to withdraw the plea. His plea had contended the govt can enact special provisions for the benefit of women and children under Article 15(3) and freedom of conscience, free profession, practice and propagation of religion under Article 25 is subjected to public order, morality, health and other provisions of Part-III.
Upadhyay stressed incidents are reported every week across India where religious conversion is done by intimidating, threatening, deceiving among other evil ways.
BAIL TO JHARKHAND ACTIVIST
The Supreme Court on Friday ordered bail to Sudesh Kedia, an activist of Jharkhand arrested in 2019 and slapped with multiple charges, under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, Indian Penal Code, Arms Act and the Criminal Law Amendment (CLA) Act.
A Bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat held that no prima facie case has been made out against him relating to the offences alleged against him.
It set aside the High Court judgment and directed Kedia's release on bail, subject to the satisfaction of the special court, allowing his appeal.
He approached the top court after the Special NIA judge at Ranchi dismissed his plea for bail on February 14, 2020 and the High Court dismissed his criminal appeal, upholding the Special Judge's order.