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Allahabad High Court Denies Bail to Man Accused of Killing Woman Who Refused to Convert to Islam

Shoeb’s Second Bail Plea Rejected Due to Severity of Charges and Ongoing Trial by Allahabad High Court

Considering the gravity of the offence the role assigned to the applicant, Shoeb, and the stage of the trial, Justice Sanjay Kumar Singh did not find any compelling reason to release the accused on bail.

Earlier this week, the Allahabad High Court denied bail to Shoeb Akhtar, who is accused of beheading Priya, a Hindu woman, after she refused to convert to Islam following her marriage to co-accused Ajaj Ahmed [Shoeb Akhtar v. State of Uttar Pradesh].

According to the prosecution, Shoeb beheaded Priya after she persistently refused to accept Islam, following her marriage to Ajaj, who did not want to bring her home without her conversion. Ajaj had kept her in a rented house, and when she continued to refuse conversion, both Shoeb and Ajaj allegedly murdered her. Her beheaded body was found in a drain on September 21, 2020.

Both Shoeb and Ajaj were charged under Sections 302 (murder) and 201 (fabrication of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code. Shoeb’s first bail application was rejected on January 24, 2023. After Ajaj was later granted bail, Shoeb moved for bail a second time.

The Additional Government Advocate, representing the State, opposed Shoeb’s plea, emphasizing the severity and heinous nature of the crime. He also pointed out that Ajaj had obtained bail by concealing the order rejecting Shoeb’s first bail application. Additionally, the State argued that a wrong statement was attributed in the order granting bail to Ajaj, which inaccurately noted that Ajaj had been in jail for eight and a half years.

The Court found merit in the State’s argument that the previous order rejecting Shoeb’s bail application had not been considered when granting bail to Ajaj. Consequently, due to the gravity of the crime, the Court rejected Shoeb’s second bail application.

“I also find substance in the submission of the learned Additional Government Advocate that while passing the order dated 05.10.2023 for co-accused, the order dated 24.01.2023 had not been taken into consideration and the wrong period of detention of the accused, Ajaj Ahmad @ Asif, was mentioned. Considering the gravity of the offence, the role assigned to the accused-applicant, and the stage of the trial, I do not find any good ground to release the applicant on bail. Accordingly, the bail application is rejected,” the Court stated.

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