Allahabad High Court: In an anticipatory bail plea filed by a Muslim Scholar Maulana Syed Mohammad Shabibul Husaini (‘Maulana Syed’), accused of issuing a fatwa to kill former Shia Waqf Board Chairman Jitendra Narayan Singh aka Waseem Rizvi as he renounced Islam and converted to a Hindu, Subhash Vidyarthi J. after placing reliance on Maulana Syed’s interview available on You Tube and the fact that he has reiterated his stand even in his affidavit. Thus, the Court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Jitendra Narayan Singh lodged an FIR stating that in a statement given by the Muslim scholar on INN Channel on You Tube, he stated that Jitendra Narayan Singh’s “Katl Wajib Hai” (it is desirable to kill). It has further been stated in the FIR that Maulana Syed has made a reference to the Fatwa issued against the author Salman Rushdie. It has further been stated in the FIR that since Jitendra Narayan Singh changed his religion and accepted Sanatan Dharm, he is being threatened. He has further stated that the statement of Maulana Syed is spreading hatred in Society at large.
Maulana Syed has been charged with commission of offences of abetment of murder, promoting enmity on the ground of religion and making assertions prejudicial to national integration, besides some other offences.
The Court after examining Maulana Syed’s interview held on You Tube, noted that the meaning and purport of his interview is that Islam has supremacy over all and Islam does not give supremacy to any person, caste or religion. Islam is a religion, which does not tolerate and does not accept. Islam strongly dislikes Irtedad (apostasy), since apostasy is in direct conflict with Islam. Further, Maulana Syed has justified his statements and stated on oath that ‘he had given the statement according to Islamic Jurisprudence based on many books, wherein it is written that according to Jafri or Imami school, the Male apostates must be executed, while female apostates must be held in solitary confinement until they repent and return to Islam. Apostasy from Islam is considered a crime.
The Court noted that Article 25 of the Constitution of India confers the Fundamental Right to freedom of conscience and free profession, practice and propagation of religion by providing that all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion, but this right is subject to public order, morality and health and to the other provisions of Part III of the Constitution. Maulana Syed does not have the right to propagate his religion in a manner which may result in an adverse effect to public order, and he cannot propagate his religion in a manner which may be prejudicial to the health and well-being of Jitendra Narayan Singh.
Maulana Syed has stated in his interview that it is just to murder persons who were Muslims since birth and have changed their religion. Further, he reiterated his stand on oath even before this Court. As per the Court the aforesaid conduct of the applicant is prejudicial to public order, and it extremely disturbing.
Thus, the Court rejected Maulana Syed’s anticipatory bail plea.
[Maulana Syed Mohammad Shabibul Husaini v State of U.P, 2023 SCC OnLine All 237, Order dated 05-06-2023]
Advocates who appeared in this case :
Counsel for Applicant: Advocate Dhirendra Kumar Mishra;
Counsel for Opposite Party: Government Advocate.