The Rajasthan High Court on Wednesday criticised the state police for its handling of a 22-year-old woman’s alleged forced conversion to Islam, and directed it to register a First Information Report, PTI reported.
The court was hearing a habeas corpus petition filed by the woman’s brother, who claimed that it was a case of “love jihad”, and that the police refused to file an FIR on the family’s complaint. The woman has been sent to live at a women’s shelter for a week, and the court directed that no one from the family must meet her.
The bench of Justices GK Vyas and MK Garg also told the state government to submit a report on the legal provisions for religious conversions in the state.
The court asked how the police could assume that the conversion was legal “just by way of an affidavit over a stamp paper of Rs 10”, especially when there was no legal provision in this regard. “By this way, tomorrow, even I could address myself as Gopal Mohammad,” said one of the judges.
The woman’s brother claimed that a person named Faiz Modi had been harassing her for a long time and had abducted her. She was made to sign some papers, after which fake marriage documents were prepared, adding that she was blackmailed with objectionable pictures.
When the family went to the police to file a complaint after they could not find her, the police refused to file an FIR saying that Faiz Modi had already produced proof of their marriage and religious conversion dated April 14, the brother said.
His lawyer, Gokulesh Bohra, said the woman was with her family till October 25, while the documents were dated six months ago. “This is a clear case of love jihad and over half a dozen such cases have already been reported in the city in the past some time due to the disinterest shown by the police in investigating these cases,” Bohra said.
The court directed the police to investigate the authenticity of the alleged religious conversion and the marriage, and find out why she was living with her family till October if she had married and converted to Islam in April, according to The Indian Express.
The police have four days to file a report on whether “without any procedure or rule, conversion of religion can be changed” and if the marriage “is established on the basis of self-contradictory documents on record.”