Bengaluru: Governor Thaawarchand Gehlot on Tuesday gave his consent to ordinance on Anti-Conversion Bill passed in Karnataka Assembly. Despite protests, the State Government took the ordinance route in order to give effect to the law against religious conversions.
The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Bill was tabled and passed by the BJP-led Government in the State in December last year.
The Anti-Conversion Bill is aimed at preventing conversion by means of ‘allurement, coercion, force, fraudulent means’, and also ‘mass conversion.’ According to the Government, these instances cause disturbance of ‘public order’ in the State.
The Bill proposes imprisonment of three to five years with a fine of Rs. 25,000 for ‘forced’ conversion. The Bill also states that converting a minor, woman or an SC/ST person will attract a jail term of three to 10 years, with a Rs. 50,000 fine. Mass conversions will attract three to 10 years of jail, with a fine of up to Rs. 1 lakh.