Maulana Umar Gautam Gets Bail from Allahabad HC, But to Remain in Prison

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The scholar languishes in jail for 776 days now after being arrested under draconian anti-conversion law by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh on 20 June 2021.

Team Clarion

NEW DELHI — Noted Islamic scholar Maulana Umar Gautam was on Friday granted bail by Allahabad High Court in the religious conversion case. But the scholar will continue to stay in jail for other pending charges, media reports quoted his lawyer as saying.

The scholar languishes in jail for 776 days now after being arrested under draconian anti-conversion law by the Anti-Terrorist Squad of Uttar Pradesh on 20 June 2021.

The ATS arrested Gautam – a revert and founder of the Islamic Da’wah Centre – and one of his colleagues after he and his organisation were accused of forcibly converting thousands to Islam, including students with hearing disabilities, arranging marriages for converts, and receiving funding from abroad.  

He was charged with conspiracy, cheating and outraging religious feelings as well as under sections of Uttar Pradesh’s Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Act.

Five days later, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) filed a case under the 2002 Prevention of Money Laundering Act against Gautam to investigate allegations of foreign funding and money laundering.

In September of the same year, a Lucknow court accepted an ATS application to charge Gautam and others involved in the case with “conspiracy to commit offences” waging war against the state (Sec. 121A IPC) and “concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war” (Sec. 123 IPC).

On February 11, 2022, Gautam was granted bail in one of the cases against him.

Gautam’s family has also been targeted, including his son, Abdullah Gautam. He was arrested in November 2021 for his alleged involvement in conversions. 

On July 4 this year, the Supreme Court granted bail to Abdullah.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and C.T. Ravikumar directed to release him on bail observing that there was no need to keep him under further detention as the charges have been framed in the case.

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