SC dismisses cleric Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui’s plea to attend nephew’s death anniversary in UP

New Delhi, May 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court on Thursday refused to entertain the application filed by cleric Maulana Kaleem Siddiqui, who is charged by Uttar Pradesh Police for running a mass religious conversion racket, seeking permission to enter the state boundary to attend nephew’s death anniversary.

“The death took place last year. Other members are also there in the family. You were very much aware of the date. You could have filed an application earlier before the same (SC) bench that you have to go on such and such date. The application is coming (for hearing) when the event is already over,” observed a vacation bench presided over by Justice SC Sharma.

The Bench, also comprising Justice PB Varale, appeared unimpressed with the submission that Siddiqui, being the eldest member of the family, did not attend the funeral of the deceased nephew last year.

Sensing the disclination of the bench to entertain the application, the senior counsel, representing Siddiqui, sought permission to withdraw the plea.

“The plea is dismissed as withdrawn,” the apex court ordered.

In August last year, the top court had granted a one-time relaxation to Siddiqui to visit his ancestral village in Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar to perform the last rites in his brother’s funeral. It had ordered that the cleric would not take part in any political or social event except connected with his brother’s funeral and said that he would not make any public speeches.

One of the bail conditions imposed by the Allahabad High Court barred Siddiqui from entering the state of Uttar Pradesh except for trial purposes.

The Uttar Pradesh government’s appeal against the High Court bail order was ultimately disposed of by the apex court without disturbing the bail conditions.

In April last year, a division bench of Justices Attaur Rahman Masoodi and Saroj Yadav of the Allahabad 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

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