Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill Introduced in MP Assembly

The BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has introduced the “Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Bill, 2021” in the assembly. This bill has replaced the ordinance that the government had brought to check the religious conversions through any fraudulent means.

Highlights

The new bill has replaced the ordinance which the government cleared in December 2020 and promulgated in January 2021. The bill comprises of the provisions of 10 years imprisonment for some cases and fine for violators. The bill was presented by the Home Minister, Narottam Mishra. Now this bill will be put up for consideration. Members can suggest amendments to the bill. The bill was passed in the assembly on the line of law passed by Uttar Pradesh which have similar provisions.

Background

The Governor of the Madhya Pradesh, Anandiben Patel, given her assent to the “Madhya Pradesh Freedom of Religion Ordinance, 2020” on January 9, 2021. This ordinance comprised of the provision of penalising the religious conversions through fraudulent means and the marriage.  Till date, 23 cases were registered under this ordinance.

What does SC say on Marriage and Conversion?

The supreme court of India have pronounced in several judgements that state and courts have no jurisdiction on the absolute right of adult to choose their life partner. The count has also confirmed in the cases like Lily Thomas and Sarla Mudgal that religious conversions which is carried without a bona fide belief and to derive some legal benefit is not logical.

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