Madras High Court
Madras High Court

Woman seeks Bangla citizenship, father alleges forced conversion

The judge rejected the petition on the ground that National Investigation Agency (NIA) had already filed a closure report on the complaint filed by Vinith Baid alleging that his daughter was forcibly converted to Islam and faced radicalization.

CHENNAI: The Madras High Court had dismissed a petition filed by a Chennai man for restraining the union external affairs ministry and the home ministry from allowing a 25-year-old Indian woman to renounce her Indian citizenship and issuing a No Objection Certificate for the move of the woman who had converted to Islam and settled down in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Justice Abdul Quddhose passed the orders on dismissing the petition filed by Vinith Baid, father of the woman. The judge rejected the petition on the ground that National Investigation Agency (NIA) had already filed a closure report on the complaint filed by Vinith Baid alleging that his daughter was forcibly converted to Islam and faced radicalization.

After the probe, the NIA found that the petitioner’s daughter converted the belief of her own volition and married an Muslim man in Dhaka. The said closure report was submitted before a special court in Poonamallee on May 19.

The petitioner alleged that his daughter is trying to renounce her Indian citizenship now and accept Bangladesh citizenship. “It is not voluntary, but under threat, coercion, and undue influence, and therefore, it cannot be considered,” the petitioner added.

However, Justice Quddhose recalled a Habeas Corpus petition filed by the petitioner in 2021 for the deportation of her daughter was closed by a division bench of Madras HC. The bench comprising Justice P N Prakash and Justice AA Nakkiran closed the petition after they spoke with the 25-year-old woman Harshitha Baid through video call.

Justice Quddhose pointed out that the said petition came to be closed after recording the statement made by Harshitha Baid through Video Conferencing that only on her own volition, she had got converted to Islam and only voluntarily, she has applied for Bangladesh citizenship.

“In view of the above-undisputed facts, subsequent to the filing of this writ petition, the question of granting relief in favour of the petitioner as sought for in this writ petition will not arise. Therefore, there is no merit in this writ petition,” Justice Quddhose held and dismissed the plea of Vinith Baid.

It is noted that when the division bench recorded the statement of the woman that she was fascinated by Islam while studying in the UK. She further claimed that she fell in love with a Bangladesh man and married him.

During the course of the VC hearing, the judges allowed her parents to interact with their daughter. In spite of Vinith Baid and his wife's appeal to their daughter to come back to India, she rejected it claiming that she was living happily with her husband. Officers from Dhaka Police, and the Indian consulate were also present during the call.

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