The Allahabad High Court has taken a stern stance against alleged religious discrimination in the trial proceedings of a criminal case involving two Muslim clerics accused of forced religious conversion in Uttar Pradesh. In a recent development, the High Court summoned Additional District & Sessions Judge Vivekanand Sharan Tripathi for what it deemed as judicial misconduct.
The controversy arose when Judge Tripathi denied a request from Muslim lawyers for a brief adjournment to attend Friday prayers during the trial. Instead, he appointed amici curiae as additional counsel to represent the accused whenever the Muslim lawyers needed to attend prayers. This decision drew criticism from the High Court, which deemed it discriminatory and a violation of the fundamental rights enshrined in Article 15 of the Indian Constitution.
In its order dated April 3, the High Court expressed strong objections to Judge Tripathi’s conduct, particularly his failure to prioritize the provision of electronic evidence requested by the applicant under Section 207 CrPC. The Court highlighted the trial judge’s remarks regarding the absence of counsel belonging to a certain religion during the trial, noting that such comments exhibited clear discrimination.
The High Court emphasized that any grounds for the judge’s decision should have been clearly stated in the order, and it condemned the apparent bias shown by Judge Tripathi based on religious affiliation. This, the Court declared, was a direct violation of Article 15(1) of the Indian Constitution, which prohibits discrimination on the grounds of religion.
The summoning of Judge Tripathi underscores the judiciary’s commitment to upholding constitutional principles and ensuring fair and impartial trial proceedings. The High Court’s intervention serves as a reminder that justice must be dispensed without prejudice or favoritism, regardless of religious identity.
The case highlights broader issues surrounding religious freedom and equal treatment under the law, particularly in the context of India’s diverse society. It underscores the importance of safeguarding individual rights and ensuring that the principles of justice are upheld in all legal proceedings.
The Allahabad High Court’s decisive action sends a clear message that discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated within the judicial system. It reaffirms the judiciary’s role as a guardian of the Constitution and protector of the rights of all citizens, regardless of their background or beliefs.

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