Supreme Court: In a special leave petition against the judgment and order of Allahabad High Court, wherein the Court rejected the anticipatory bail plea of Vice Chancellor of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (‘SHUATS’) Dr. Rajendra Bihari Lal and Institute’s Director Vinod Bihari Lal for the offences under Sections 153-A, 506, 420, 467, 468, 471 of the Penal Code, 1860 and Sections 3 and 5(1) U.P. Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021, the full bench comprising of Dr. DY Chandrachud, CJI., PS Narasimha and J.B Pardiwala , JJ. has stayed the arrest of Dr. Rajendra Bihari Lal and Vinod Bihari Lal.

The Allahabad High Court said that the accused are influential persons who are involved in mass conversion, and as the evidence in this regard has already been collected by the Investigating Officer, therefore, they cannot claim parity with other persons who have been released on anticipatory bail. Further, the accused persons have misused their liberty, which was one of the conditions while granting protection to them in some other pending case, therefore, they are not entitled for the relief as claimed. Aggrieved by this, the accused persons have filed the present petition.

The Court issued notice in the present special leave petition and till the next date of hearing, it stayed the arrest of the accused persons.

The matter will next be taken up on 24-03-2023.

[Vinod Bihari Lal v State of U.P, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 235, decided on 03-03-2023]

Advocates who appeared in this case :

For Petitioners: Senior Advocate Siddhartha Dave, Advocate Pallavi Sharma, Advocate Prabhat Kumar.

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