On July 12, the Delhi High Court had issued a notice to the Delhi Government and news media organizations, including Zee News, Navbharat Times, over a petition filed by a woman who converted to Islam.
The notice was issued in response to a petition filed by the 31-year-old woman alleging that she and her family are facing threats due to a newspaper advertisement issued by her in April about her conversion to Islam.
The petition alleges that the news organizations are promoting and publishing malicious content regarding her conversion.
Justice Rekha Patil assured that the Delhi Police will be extending protection to the woman. The woman, who works in Delhi but hails from Lucknow, had converted to Islam in 2012. The woman had issued a newspaper advertisement in April 2021 for a change of religion and name.
A gazette notification was issued over this matter on April 17. The woman claimed that after filing the advertisement, the television news channels had allegedly revealed conversion certificates. She also alleged in the plea that she faced a threat to be taken for search to Uttar Pradesh by the state agencies.
The petition read that owing to her conversion, she and her family were targeted as spiteful content was published, and it seeks immediate prohibition of threatening activity against the woman and/or her family. The woman submitted the plea stating that the media should respect her privacy and avoid publishing news about her.
She stated that she had converted to Islam in 2012 out of her own free will and subsequently a certificate of conversion was issued to her. In June 2021, she was harassed for her religious conversion.
The petition raised concerns of threats that she was receiving due to the news items posted following the advertisement she had filed on the 6th and 8th of April relating to her conversion to Islam. It stated that her details, including photographs, name, and address, were circulated by the news channels.
The petitioner has requested to take down the news articles from the website. The Delhi High Court is seeking the News Broadcasting Standard Authority’s (NBSA) response on the matter.
The petition also alleged that the Uttar Pradesh Police leaked documents of her identity to the media, which was a violation of the Advisory on Media Policy of Police.
It further stated that several news articles that appeared in UP-based news organizations had allegedly revealed her details and exaggerated the matter. The petition urged the court to pass an order for the protection of her privacy.
The court clarified that notice to the UP government and police does not fall under the jurisdiction of the court. A similar plea was filed before the high court on July 1st. The court directed the Delhi Police to ensure the protection of the woman against the content being posted by the media organizations.