Madya Pradesh Assembly passes anti-conversion bill by voice vote; hefty fines, 10 years imprisonment for offenders

The bill replaced the ordinance that was promulgated in Jan 2021. The state govt said 23 cases were registered under the ordinance within a month of implementation

Press Trust of India March 08, 2021 18:03:11 IST
Madya Pradesh Assembly passes anti-conversion bill by voice vote; hefty fines, 10 years imprisonment for offenders

File image of Shivraj Singh Chouhan. PTI

Bhopal: The Madhya Pradesh Assembly on Monday passed by voice vote a bill that checks religious conversions through marriage or by any other fraudulent means.

The bill earlier replaced the ordinance, cleared by the cabinet in December and promulgated in January, which had provisions of 10 years imprisonment in some cases and hefty fine for violators.

On 1 March, state home minister Narottam Mishra presented the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill 2021 in the House. After a discussion on the bill, it was passed by voice vote in the Assembly on Monday.

Governor Anandiben Patel on 9 January gave assent to the Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020, which penalised religious conversions through fraudulent means, including those for the sake of marriage.

The ordinance penalised religious conversions by misrepresentation, allurement, use of threat of force, undue influence, coercion, marriage or by any other fraudulent means.

Last month, Mishra had said as many as 23 cases were registered under the ordinance within a month of it coming into force.

He had said the highest number of seven cases were reported in the Bhopal division, followed by five in Indore, four each in Jabalpur and Rewa, and three in the Gwalior division.

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