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Assembly passes anti-conversion bill amid opposition protests MEERI News

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Bangalore: The Karnataka Assembly on Wednesday passed the Anti-Conversion Bill with some minor amendments amid protests from the Congress and a walkout from the House.

The bill was passed by the Legislative Council last week. With this, the ordinance which was brought before the passage of this bill was withdrawn.

The state government had brought an ordinance in May to give effect to the bill, as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party did not have a majority during that time and the bill was pending in the Legislative Council. Finally, on September 15, the Legislative Council passed the bill.

Home Minister Arga Gyanendra introduced the ‘Karnataka Religious Freedom Rights Protection Bill 2022’ in the House on Wednesday. After the approval of the Governor, this bill will take the form of law from May 17, 2022, as the ordinance was promulgated on the same date.

Deputy leader of Congress in the assembly UT Khadar said that all people are against forceful conversion, but the intention of this bill is not right.

“It is politically motivated, illegal and unconstitutional. It will be challenged in the court and the court can quash it.

Congress MLA Shivanand Patil said that according to the bill, a blood relative of a convert can file a complaint and there is every possibility of its misuse.

Gyanendra defended the bill saying that there is no apprehension of misuse or confusion of the bill and it is not against religious freedom in any way.

He said that the Bill is in accordance with the Constitution and the Anti-Conversion Bill was brought by the Law Commission after studying various such laws.

Significantly, the heads of some Christian organizations strongly opposed this bill.

The bill, passed by the Assembly last year, protects the right to freedom of religion and prohibits illegal conversions through false facts, coercion, coercion or fraud.

Under this, there is a provision of imprisonment of three to five years and fine of 25 thousand rupees on conviction. Apart from this, there is a provision of imprisonment of three to ten years and fine of 50 thousand rupees or more if the victim party is a minor, woman, scheduled caste or tribe.

According to the bill, on conviction, the accused may have to pay compensation up to Rs 5 lakh to the convert. Apart from this, mass conversion can be punished with imprisonment of three to 10 years and fine up to one lakh rupees.

It also states that a marriage performed for the purpose of illegal conversion shall be declared invalid by the family court.

It has been said in the bill that whoever wants to change his religion will have to first inform it in a prescribed form to the District Magistrate or Additional District Magistrate or the officer authorized by the District Magistrate.

According to the Bill, a marriage performed for the purpose of getting an illegal conversion can be annulled by a family court.

According to Hindustan Times, Karnataka Law Minister JC Madhuswamy said that the Act only prohibits forced conversions.

Swamy said, ‘We have not made any such amendment, which can stop the conversion of its own free will. We have made amendments to prohibit forced conversions. We are protecting our religion, we have brought this bill to stop forced conversions. We have not restricted anyone’s wish anywhere.

At the same time, Congress MLC Nagraj termed conversion as a private matter and a person’s right of choice.

(with input from news agency language)

Categories: politics, special

Tagged as: Anti-conversion Bill, Basavaraj Bommai, BJP, caste, Christian, Congress, conversion, Forced conversion, Hindu, Inter Religious Marriage, inter-caste marriage certificate, Karnataka, Karnataka Right to Freedom of Religion Bill, News, Opposition protests , The Wire


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