Karnataka Cabinet approves Anti-Conversion Bill as ordinance
The move from the BJP in Karnataka came following Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai‘s meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Delhi on Wednesday. Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said his Cabinet will today decide on promulgating an ordinance to give effect to a controversial law against religious conversions.
Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra is summoned to Delhi, and the issue is likely to be discussed, according to party sources.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was passed in the Legislative Assembly in December last year. It is pending passage in the Legislative Council, where the ruling BJP is one short of a majority and is likely to win 4 seats and attain a full majority after the council elections. However, the top leaders have decided to put the bill into execution through an ordinance.
The party would present the bill later and it would be a cakewalk for the party to get the bill passed in the council, the sources said.
Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai stated on Thursday that, since the Anti-Conversion Bill is prolonged in the state legislature, it has been decided to bring an ordinance towards its implementation.
“The matter will be discussed in the Cabinet and a suitable decision would be taken,” he explained.
According to the Anti-Conversion Law, any converted person, his parents, brother, sister, or any other person who is related to him by blood, marriage, or adoption, or in any form associated or colleague may lodge a complaint of such conversion which contravenes the provisions. The offence is made to be non-bailable and cognizable.
The declaration of post-conversion of religion is also proposed. If any institution violates the act, imprisonment of up to five years from three years with a fine of Rs.25,000 is prescribed. If the victim is a minor and indulges in mass conversions, the imprisonment is extended up to 10 years.
The bill proposes protection of the right to freedom of religion and protection of the right to freedom of religion and prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, or any fraudulent means.
“Allurement includes any gift, easy money or material benefit either in cash or kind; employment, free education in school or college run by any religious body; promise to marry or portraying practice, rituals, and ceremonies or any integral part of a religion in a detrimental way vis-a-vis another religion; or glorifying one religion against another religion,” according to the bill.
[With Inputs from IANS]
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