Religious conversion after hiding one’s own religion will attract 3-10 years of imprisonment and a minimum Rs 50,000 fine, said Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister’s Office on Saturday.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan had chaired a high-level meeting on Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020 in Bhopal on Saturday.
At the meeting, he said that the Bill will ensure that no religious conversion is carried out forcefully, or by tempting someone or through marriage.
“Religious conversion after hiding one’s own religion will attract 3-10 years of imprisonment and a minimum Rs 50,000 fine. Mass religious conversion (2 or more people) will attract 5-10 years of imprisonment and a minimum fine of Rs one lakh,” said Madhya Pradesh CMO.
Any marriage done with the intention of religious conversion will be considered null. Anyone going through religious conversion willingly as well as the concerned religious leader will have to inform the District Magistrate one month in advance, Madhya Pradesh CMO stated.
“Proposal of 1-5 yrs of imprisonment and Rs 25,000 minimum fine for violators of Article 3 of the Bill. In case the victim is a minor, woman or belongs to SC-ST communities, 2-10 years of imprisonment and minimum Rs 50,000 fine proposed,” Madhya Pradesh CMO added.
Earlier on Saturday, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister said that Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020 (the bill against love jihad) is the state’s Beti Bachao Abhiyan.
“It is easy to mislead young girls with malicious intent. Later, their life becomes hell. Dharma Swatantrya (Religious Freedom) Bill 2020 is our beti bachao abhiyan,” said the Chief Minster while interacting with media in Bhopal.
The Union Home Ministry on February 4 this year clarified that the term ‘love jihad’ is not defined under the existing laws and no such case has been reported so far. No such case was reported by any of the central agencies yet.
However, two cases from Kerala involving inter-faith marriages have been investigated by the National Investigation Agency, according to the Home Ministry.