Allahabad HC grants bail to man accused of concealing religious identity, coercing girl for unlawful conversion

Read Time: 05 minutes


Allegedly, Mohammad Kaif posed as a Hindu to entice the victim, then later insisted she convert to Islam for marriage

The Allahabad High Court recently granted bail to a man accused in an unlawful religious conversion case. The man allegedly hid his identity from the victim girl to start a relationship and later tried to force her to convert her religion. 

The mother of the victim girl lodged the First Information Report (FIR) against accused Mohammad Kaif under Sections 366 of the IPC, Section 3/5 of the U.P. Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act, 2021. She claimed that Kaif, pretending to be a Hindu, enticed away her 18-year-old daughter. Kaif was arrested on March 10, 2024.

Pleading for bail, Kaif's counsel argued before the high court that allegations leveled against Kaif were false. He contended that since the beginning the girl was aware that Kaif belonged to the Muslim community and she went along with him voluntarily.

He argued that it was only when the girl was recovered, that she, on her mother's instigation, twisted the story and stated that Kaif did not reveal his true religious affiliation, instead introduced himself as a Hindu. 

Kaif's counsel stressed that this fact was evident from the FIR itself, which was lodged before the recovery of the girl and it was lodged against Kaif disclosing his real name.

He further submitted that even from the statement of the victim recorded during investigation, it could not be reflected that Kaif ever pressured her to convert her religion, and even as per the victim, he only stated that if she wanted to perform marriage with him then she had to change her religion.

The bench of Justice Sameer Jain noted that the FIR was indeed registered against Kaif with his real name. "...therefore, considering this fact, the argument advanced by learned counsel for applicant that the victim was well aware that applicant belongs to Muslim community cannot completely be ruled out at this stage," the judge opined. 

Further, referring to the statements of the victim, court noted that she herself had gone along with Kaif and she is major girl aged about 18 years.

Court also pointed out that there was no allegation that Kaif forcibly tried to change the victim's religion and the only allegation against him was that he told the victim if she wanted to marry him, then she had to change her religion.

Therefore, highlighting Kaif's no criminal record, and considering the facts and circumstances of the case, court held him entitled for bail. 

Case Title: Mohammad Kaif v. State of UP