Ahmedabad, January 14: A 32-year-old Hindu man, seeking to convert to Islam, has moved the Gujarat High Court to direct Bharuch district authorities to expedite the process as more than a year has passed since he submitted an application for the same.

Petitioner Jignesh Patel’s lawyer MT Saiyad on Thursday said Bharuch’s collector has withheld Patel’s application for more than a year, despite a sub-divisional magistrate’s inquiry report filed in February 2020 giving a favourable opinion that he may be granted permission for conversion, NDTV reported.

In a recent order, Justice Bela Trivedi directed the district collector to decide on Mr Patel’s application “as expeditiously as possible”, preferably within eight weeks.

“The application seeking permission of the collector at Bharuch is pending for more than a year. The petition was filed to direct the collector to decide on the application,” Patel’s lawyer said.

The sub-divisional magistrate’s report established that Jignesh Patel was not under pressure to convert, as mandated in the state’s anti-conversion law, Mr Saiyad said.

Patel submitted his application to the collector on November 26, 2019, with a declaration that he was not under pressure or allurement for conversion.


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