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UP Assembly passes anti-religious conversion Bill amid opposition

This 2021 Bill seeks to replace the Ordinance promulgated in November last year that makes conversion a non bailable and cognisable offence

Sabrangindia 25 Feb 2021

PTI

The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed, by voice vote, a bill aimed at curbing religious conversions by fraudulent or any other undue means, including marriage, as per an Indian Express report.

The newly passed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2021 seeks to replace the Ordinance promulgated in November last year that provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine of up to Rs 50,000 under different categories.

FirstPost reported that the anti-conversion bill was passed in the House even as Aradhana Misra, the Congress Legislative Party leader and Lalji Verma, the leader of BSP in the Assembly, strongly opposed it.

Ms. Misra protested the Bill and stood firm on her ground, stating that “This is an issue on which comprehensive discussion and debate are needed. Hence, instead of taking a decision in haste, it should be sent to the select committee”, reported the media.

According to a report in The Hindu, Lalji Verma said in the Assembly that the Constitution guarantees the right to free profession, practice and propagation of religion. “This Bill is against the Constitution. Hence, the government should either withdraw this Bill or send it to the select committee,” she added.

The Bill has been purportedly introduced to provide for prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, by any fraudulent means or by marriage.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill also deems all marriages “null and void” if the conversion is solely for the purpose of marriage. The Bill, similar to the November Ordinance, requires adults to give prior notice to the District Magistrate to prove the intent to convert.

Between the coming up of the Ordinance in November to completing one month of its promulgation, Uttar Pradesh State made more than one arrest a day, apprehending some 35 people and registering nearly a dozen FIRs.

Several petitions challenging the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 are pending before the Indian Courts. The Allahabad High Court is presently seized with the matter, whereas CJP’s petition before the Supreme Court of India will be heard next in March.

Related:

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UP Assembly passes anti-religious conversion Bill amid opposition

This 2021 Bill seeks to replace the Ordinance promulgated in November last year that makes conversion a non bailable and cognisable offence

PTI

The Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly has passed, by voice vote, a bill aimed at curbing religious conversions by fraudulent or any other undue means, including marriage, as per an Indian Express report.

The newly passed Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill, 2021 seeks to replace the Ordinance promulgated in November last year that provides for imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine of up to Rs 50,000 under different categories.

FirstPost reported that the anti-conversion bill was passed in the House even as Aradhana Misra, the Congress Legislative Party leader and Lalji Verma, the leader of BSP in the Assembly, strongly opposed it.

Ms. Misra protested the Bill and stood firm on her ground, stating that “This is an issue on which comprehensive discussion and debate are needed. Hence, instead of taking a decision in haste, it should be sent to the select committee”, reported the media.

According to a report in The Hindu, Lalji Verma said in the Assembly that the Constitution guarantees the right to free profession, practice and propagation of religion. “This Bill is against the Constitution. Hence, the government should either withdraw this Bill or send it to the select committee,” she added.

The Bill has been purportedly introduced to provide for prohibition of unlawful conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement, by any fraudulent means or by marriage.

The Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Bill also deems all marriages “null and void” if the conversion is solely for the purpose of marriage. The Bill, similar to the November Ordinance, requires adults to give prior notice to the District Magistrate to prove the intent to convert.

Between the coming up of the Ordinance in November to completing one month of its promulgation, Uttar Pradesh State made more than one arrest a day, apprehending some 35 people and registering nearly a dozen FIRs.

Several petitions challenging the Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020 are pending before the Indian Courts. The Allahabad High Court is presently seized with the matter, whereas CJP’s petition before the Supreme Court of India will be heard next in March.

Related:

SC admits CJP’s amendment petition including MP, HP in its Love Jihad plea

CJP’s Love Jihad Petition: SC issues notice to UP and Uttarakhand

UP’s Love Jihad law completes one month, 35 incarcerated

UP Governor gives assent to anti-Love Jihad ordinance

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