New Delhi : Supreme Court (SC) on Monday granted one-time relaxation to cleric Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who is charged by Uttar Pradesh state anti-terrorist squad (ATS) for running a mass religious conversion racket, to visit his ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar to perform last rites in his brother’s funeral.
In view of the death of Siddiqui’s brother, a bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose, Sanjay Kumar and SVN Bhatti relaxed the bail condition imposed by the Allahabad High Court barring Siddiqui from entering Uttar Pradesh except for trial.
The bench ordered that the cleric will not take part in any political or social event except connected with brother’s funeral and said that he will not make any public speeches.
Notably, the Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal against the High Court bail order is pending consideration before the Supreme Court. During an earlier hearing on the state government’s plea seeking cancellation of bail, the top court had asked Additional Advocate General Garima Prashad to file a tabular statement clearly specifying the role attributed to Siddiqui in alleged mass religious conversion case by September 5.
On April 05, a division bench of Justices Attaur Rahman Masoodi and Saroj Yadav of the High Court directed Siddiqui’s release on bail, who was arrested from Meerut on charges of converting over 100 people.
The High Court granted him bail on the grounds of parity as one of the co-accused was granted bail by the Supreme Court.
The state ATS had claimed that he ran the biggest conversion syndicate across the country and donations through ‘hawala’ in a trust operated by him, were also stated to have been recovered. — IANS