Gujarat Governor gives assent to Bill Penalising Fraudulent Conversion by Marriage

Governor of Gujarat, Acharya Devvrat, has given his assent to Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2021 along with 7 other bills. These bills were passed in March 2021 during the budget session of the state assembly.

Gujarat Freedom of Religion (Amendment) Bill, 2021

This bill is being also called as “anti-love jihad” Bill. It provides for punishment of 3-10 years in jail for forcible and fraudulent religious conversions by marrying the person. It amends the 2003 Act.

Why this bill was passed?

This bill was passed considering the fact that, there are increasing instances of religious conversions promising a better lifestyles, divine blessings and impersonation. There is an increasing trend where women are lured to marriage for religious conversions.

What is Love Jihad?

Love Jihad is also known as Romeo Jihad. It is a conspiracy theory which was developed by proponents of Hindutva. The theory is used to invoke prejudice against Muslims. The theory maintains that, Muslim men target Hindu women for conversion to Islam by means of feigning love and marriage.

Other State with such legislation

Earlier, Uttar Pradesh has enacted the “Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance, 2020” which is unofficially called as ‘love jihad law’. This law makes conversion a non-bailable offence with up to 10 years of jail time if it is undertaken unlawfully or forcefully.

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