Supreme Court: In the mass religious conversion case, the full bench of Dr. DY Chandrachud CJI, PS Narasimha, and Manoj Misra, JJ. has extended interim protection from arrest to the Vice Chancellor (Dr.) Rajendra Bihari Lal and Director Vinod Bihari Lal of Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (‘SHUATS’) until further orders.
It was alleged that about 90 persons of Hindu religion have been congregated at a Church of India for the purpose of their conversion to Christianity by putting them under undue influence, coercion and luring them by playing fraud and promise of easy money etc. On receiving this information, the Government officers reached the place and interrogated the pastor, he disclosed that the process for conversion was going on for the last 34 days and that this process shall be completed within 40 days and they have been trying to convert even the patients admitted to the Hospital.
The FIR was registered against the VC and Director for 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.
Earlier, the Allahabad High Court had rejected the anticipatory bail pleas of Dr. Rajendra Bihari Lal and Vinod Bihari Lal.
Thereafter, the VC and Director filed a special leave petition against the judgment and order of Allahabad High Court wherein, 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 Court extended the interim protection from arrest till further orders.
SHUATS VC Image Courtesy: OpIndia website